Green Energy Subsidies Going To Companies That Violate State, Federal Air And Water Pollution Standards
Your tax dollars, hard at work:
BLUE LAKE, Calif.—Malodorous brown smoke from a power plant enveloped this logging town on April 29, 2010, and several hundred residents fled until it passed.
Six months later, the plant got $5.4 million from a federal program to promote environmentally preferable alternatives to fossil fuel.
The plant, Blue Lake Power LLC, burns biomass, which is organic material that can range from construction debris and wood chips to cornstalks and animal waste. It is among biomass plants nationwide that together have received at least $700 million in federal and state green-energy subsidies since 2009, a calculation by The Wall Street Journal shows.
Yet of 107 U.S. biomass plants that the Journal could confirm were operating at the start of this year, the Journal analysis shows that 85 have been cited by state or federal regulators for violating air-pollution or water-pollution standards at some time during the past five years, including minor infractions.
How in the world did plants that produce power by burning things get a “carbon neutral” rating? Here’s the logic:
Although the biomass plants inevitably produce emissions, since they burn things, what they burn replenishes itself, qualifying them as renewable power.
They also count as carbon-neutral, on the notion that the carbon released when they burn a material such as scrap wood eventually would get into the atmosphere anyway, when the wood decays.
So they emit carbon, but they just pretend like that doesn’t matter since supposedly the carbon would be emitted anyway through the decay of the biomass being used.
Sounds like typical government logic to me.Tags: green energy, Stimulus, subsidies