BIOMESS: Burning Trees for Energy!
Coal fired power plants want to burn trees as “biomass” on a huge scale to make energy and call it “green and clean.” The Ohio Public Utilities Commission has approved this practice to receive renewable energy credits. Old coal power plants prefer not to use agricultural crops for fuel because they cause corrosion and high emissions. Chipped trees will be the fuel of choice to burn with coal in a practice called co-firing.
Current proposals from power plants would require the clear-cutting of all forests in Ohio in just over 15 years to supply fuel. Trees were included as a renewable fuel in Ohio’s Renewables Portfolio in SB 221, and power companies are driving a fleet of trucks through this loophole in order to avoid expensive investments in wind and solar. Adding insult to injury, burning trees for energy emits 150% of the CO2 that burning coal does, because wood is an inefficient heat source. In addition, it will take 30-90 years of new growth to re-capture the CO2 that is released instantly from burning trees for energy.