(September 13, 2010)
Rural Voices for Conservation outlined three critical factors along with detailed recommendations for the EPA to consider in creating their rules for greenhouse gas emissions from biogenic sources.
1. Identify an appropriate accounting system for biomass that takes into account the lifecycle and net energy characteristics of biogenic sources.
2. Ask the National Academies to evaluate the net impact on the atmosphere of CO2 emissions associated with bioenergy. The study should fill gaps in existing science and go beyond the EPA’s own regulatory impact analysis.
3. Recognize that woody biomass is a source of energy independence and wealth capture in rural communities, supports local jobs, and helps meet forest restoration goals.
(September 14, 2010)
“More than a third of US forests are family-owned, and most of those owners want to pass their land on to the next generation. Many, however, fear they’ll be forced to sell out if medical expenses get too high. In response, a conservation group and a major insurance company have teamed up to assuage that fear – and preserve the forests – by linking the health of families to the carbon in their forests.”
A new project taking place in Columbia County, OR is addressing issues surrounding the high cost of health care amongst family forest-owners, an issue they identified as of greater concern over the poor economy or job loss. A program to link insurance premiums with the benefits of carbon trading connects businesses interested in purchasing carbon credits with forest-owners, who are then required to follow certain guidelines for sustainable forest management.
(September 22, 2010)
“President Barack Obama’s dream of passing a big bill to battle global warming is likely dead for the rest of his term, according to a leading Democrat and long time backer of climate legislation.”
Senator Jeff Bingaman, Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, suggested that the failure of comprehensive climate legislation passing, smaller steps would be taken. He recently led a bipartisan group to introduced a bill requiring utilities to produce 15 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2021.