26 Sep '11, 8pm

New study shows thinning forests for biomass is not a climate win-win

Demand for biomass is growing rapidly, as power companies come under increased pressure to find alternatives to fossil fuels like coal. (See NRDC's Forests not Fuel site.) One of the main sources they are targeting is trees harvested as part of wholesale thinning operations. Together with the forest biomass industry, they argue that using thinnings to fuel their power plants is an environmental win-win: good for forest management because, they assert, thinning reduces the risk of forest fires and good for the climate since trees can re-grow and are therefore a “carbon neutral” fuel source. The pressing need for sustainable sources of energy make the industries’ claims tempting. But the results of a new report from researchers at Oregon State University strongly suggest that even if thinning needs to be done for non-climate reasons, there’s a price to pay in terms of climat...

Full article: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/ngreene/new_study_shows...

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