Monday, January 31, 2011

Cartoon for the Day

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Claude

CHRIS HEDGES: Orwell & Huxley Both Right

Excerpt from:
2011: A Brave New Dystopia
by Chris Hedges

The two greatest visions of a future dystopia were George Orwell’s “1984” and Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World.” The debate, between those who watched our descent towards corporate totalitarianism, was who was right. Would we be, as Orwell wrote, dominated by a repressive surveillance and security state that used crude and violent forms of control? Or would we be, as Huxley envisioned, entranced by entertainment and spectacle, captivated by technology and seduced by profligate consumption to embrace our own oppression? It turns out Orwell and Huxley were both right. Huxley saw the first stage of our enslavement. Orwell saw the second.

Link to complete article:

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Saturday, January 29, 2011

HB 1081 Scheduled for Executive Session 2/1/11

("Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts;
I will certainly keep them in mind.")

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Dick Curtis Mason County Progressive


To: Sen. Doug Ericksen
Subject: Opposition to: HB 1081 & SB 5228

Dear Senator Ericksen,

I am writing to express my strong opposition to HB 1081 and SB 5228. It is wrong to undermine the authority of the counties by taking the permitting process away from the counties and giving it to an appointed board called "The Council". The process as it exists is frustrating enough when the people feel that they are not heard by their elected officials. To give the permitting process to an appointed committee takes away any chance for the citizens to have a voice in the process. It eliminates the option for redress by voting an errant official out of office. It eliminates another piece of the citizen's democratic procedure and voice.

These bills are NOT adhering to either the democratic or constitutional process, nor are they in the public's best interests.

Please vote NO.

Thank you,

Dick Curtis


Dear Dick,

Thank you for contacting me regarding House Bill 1081 and its companion, Senate Bill 5228, both regarding the siting of small alternative energy resource facilities. I appreciate your input.

House Bill 1081 is scheduled for executive session in the House Committee on Technology and Energy & Communications on February 1st and 10:00am. Senate Bill 5228 is scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Environment and Water & Energy on February 2nd at 1:30pm. If you are interested in tracking the progress of these bills, please visit the legislative website
( I would also encourage you to visit Olympia or the TVW website (, where you can watch the proceedings.

Again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts; I will certainly keep them in mind.


Senator Doug Ericksen


(as cited in Sen. Ericksen's response)

LINK to legislative website:

LINK to TVW website:

Friday, January 28, 2011


Submitted to Shelton Blog by Pat Rasmussen Mason county Progressive

Tell Your Legislators to vote NO on House Bill 1081 & Senate Bill 5228

We need your help NOW to stop a highly polluting biomass incinerator proposed for the campus of Evergreen State College next to its child daycare center. This incinerator would endanger human health and our environment throughout the region. Here’s how you can help:
1. We need you to click on the two links below and send urgent letters to state politicians.

2. On Feb. 2, at 1:30pm in Hearing Room # 4 of the Cherberg Building on the State Capitol Campus, we need you to come to Olympia to speak against the incinerator and a state bill that would allow it to be built. Or come to support others who speak. We need lots of people present. You can register opposition simply by signing in. Any Washington resident is welcome.

3. On February 7, at 5:30pm in Building # 1 of the Thurston County government campus in Olympia, we need you to speak in support of a moratorium that would delay permitting biomass facilities in Thurston County for one year so health and environmental impacts can be further studied. Or come to support others who speak. We need lots of people present. Any Washington resident is welcome.
On December 21, 2010, the Thurston County Commissioners imposed a 12-month moratorium on issuing permits for biomass facilities in the county. Burning biomass for energy threatens serious impacts on the health of our communities and on the health and vitality of our treasured forest land.

Two bills introduced in the state legislature would end the Thurston County Biomass moratorium and remove authority from our elected officials in any Washington county to protect the health and environment of citizens. HB 1081 and SB 5228 are companion bills that would, “if passed, mean the end of the moratorium”, according to a highly placed Thurston county government official.
1. The Evergreen incinerator would not be"carbon neutral". It would emit twice as much carbon dioxide as the current natural gas boiler heating campus buildings. Source: Manomet Study conducted for State of Massachusetts, July, 2010.

2. Fuel supply for the Evergreen incinerator could harm our forests. Until the Washington Department of Natural Resources completes its statewide Biomass Inventory later in 2011, no one can say if the Evergreen incinerator—or any incinerator in the state-- can be fueled without causing serious harm to our forests, wildlife, and waterways. Source: Washington Forest Law Center letter to Port Angeles Planning Commission, 9/22/10.

3. All biomass incinerators emit large amounts of toxic pollutants. Per unit of energy produced, biomass combustion emits twice as much particulate matter (PM) as coal combustion. PM is a sinister pollutant that studies link to premature death, heart attacks, strokes, birth defects, pulmonary diseases, asthma in adults and children, and abnormal lung development in children. Sources: Dr. Wm. Sammons, MD and the American Lung Association.
Tell state legislators to keep this authority at the local level so that our elected county officials can do the job we pay them to do – to protect the health of our communities and the health or our region.

Please click on first link below to send our letter, or a custom one written by you, to all 19 members of the House Technology, Energy and Communications Committee.

Please click on the second link below to send our letter, or a custom one written by you, to all 9 members of the Senate Environment, Water, and Energy Committee.

Even if you cannot attend the Feb. 2 and Feb. 7 meetings, PLEASE CLICK!!!

House of Representatives:


Thank you!

No Biomass Burn
World Temperate Rainforest Network


Link to online Thurston County Moratorium Petition: /the_evergreen_state_college_a_lesson_in_how_not_to_green_a_campus

Link to send email of support to Thurston County Commissioners
Cathy Wolfe, Sandra Romero, & Karen Valenzuela:

Cartoon for the Day

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Claude

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Request for Sheldon to Resign as Commissioner

"The Status Quo Is Killing Us"


Submitted to Shelton Blog by Tom Davis Mason County Progressive

This week's BOCC meeting was interesting in that I actually learned something about Commissioner Tim Sheldon’s vision of the future of Mason County.

After I gave testimony about the economic opportunities that will be eliminated if the county should proceed with its plan to site two biomass plants in Shelton, Commissioner Tim Sheldon treated all who were present to a somewhat romanticized history of the timber industry. I was then asked to contemplate the meaning of the big saw-blade that hangs on the chamber wall, while Mr. Sheldon put the whole matter into perspective by reminding me that it was he, not I, who was born in Mason County, implying that my opinions were of little value.

But what I did learn was that Tim Sheldon has not the slightest intention of diversifying the economic engine of our community into one that can withstand the myriad of challenges the future will surely bring; even worse, he remains clam-tight against any paradigm that does not revolve around timber.

Particularly disturbing was that Commissioner Sheldon seems less interested in making our community a better place to live than he is on maintaining the status quo. I say this because he went on about how proud he is of Mason County, completely ignoring the fact that we have a higher than national number of high school drop outs, a higher illiteracy rate, lower household incomes, higher unemployment, a higher per capita crime rate, and an entirely unacceptable number of people who do their weekly shopping at local food banks. Add to this the fact that Mason County rates 37 out of 39 when it comes to overall health, morbidity and mortality, what the heck is he so proud of?

Given this reality based assessment of our community, I suspect Mr. Sheldon’s source of pride may be rooted more in his personal accomplishments than in those of the county he presides over. What Mason County desperately needs is fresh eyes and new blood. The status quo is killing us.

What follows is a letter read before and submitted to the Mason County Commission Tuesday evening:

January 25, 2011

Mason County Commissioners:

I am requesting that sitting Mason County Commissioners Lynda Ring Erickson and Jerry Lingle demand fellow Commissioner, Tim Sheldon, resign his position, effective immediately, for the following reason:

House Bill 1081, soon to be voted on by the Senate, would all but eliminate the authority of County Commissions to appropriately impose a moratorium, or to exercise other legal instruments, for the purpose of halting or delaying construction of a biomass to power facility within their jurisdiction.

The introduction of this bill clearly demonstrates the existence of the conflict inherent in a situation whereby an elected official occupies the positions of State Senator and County Commissioner.

With respect to Commissioner Sheldon, the conflict is clear: no matter which way Senator Sheldon casts his vote on HB-1081, the fact that he has the opportunity to vote on a state bill that directly affects his ability to carry out his duties as County Commissioner is, in and of itself, a conflict.

And if Senator Sheldon chooses to absence himself from the vote, he will serve neither his Mason County constituents nor those of District #35, which he also represents, thus proving the existence of a conflict.

For these and other reasons, I ask that you demand Mr. Sheldon to step down from position as Mason County Commissioner.

Tom Davis



Senator/Commissioner Tim Sheldon

CONTACT: Commissioner Lynda Ring Erickson
(360) 427-9670 Ext. 419

CONTACT: Commissioner Jerry Lingle
(360) 427-9670 Ext. 419

Wednesday, January 26, 2011



Submitted to Shelton Blog by Katherine Price Mason County Progressive

The provisions of SB 5228, if enacted, would include "the new construction of energy facilities and the reconstruction or enlargement of existing energy facilities...". Sounds like Simpson/Solomon would be all over themselves in the support of this legislation and the companion legislation, HB 1081, in the House of Representatives.

This legislation comes to us courtesy of 3 democrats and 2 republicans, Senator Adam Kline, 37th District, Democrat, Senator Phil Rockerfeller, 23rd District, Democrat, Senator Maralyn Chase, 32nd District, Democrat, Senator Jerome Delvin, 8th District, Republican, and Senator Jim Honeyford, 15th District, Republican.

At Section 5 of the legislation, appears this disturbing language: "(1) The council shall receive all applications for energy facility site certification".

So, there you have it, fellow air-breathers. The folks in Olympia are going to decide if the folks on the Peninsula get to keep breathing and whether the Evergreen State becomes the Everbrown State.

In a normal community, we would want to call our state senator to ask him to vote against the bill, and in favor of the authority of local government in these matters. How will Senator/Commissioner ShelTon vote? Will he vote to usurp the powers of the commission of which he is also a member, to satisfy the will of his corporate masters...? Is there any doubt?

Since it's not over until the fat lady sings, we should continue to do everything we can to defeat this legislation.


Please also see Katherine Price's detailed and erudite post on HB 1081:


Wednesday, February 2nd, at 1:30 pm

Hearing Room #4, Cherberg Building,
State Capitol Campus, Olympia.


RE: SB 5228

Sen. Adam Kline (D)

CONTACT: Sen. Phil Rockerfeller (D)

Sen. Maralyn Chase (D)

Sen. Jerome Delvin (R)

Sen. Jim Honeyford (R)

CONTACT: Sen. Tim Sheldon (?)

RE: HB 1081

CONTACT: Rep. Kathy Haigh (D)

CONTACT: Rep. Fred Finn (D)

CONTACT: Rep. David Frockt (D)

CONTACT: Rep. Jim Moeller (D)

CONTACT: Rep. Jeff Morris (D)


Gov. Chris Gregoire



LINK TO ONLINE THURSTON COUNTY MORATORIUM PETITION: /the_evergreen_state_college_a_lesson_in_how_not_to_green_a_campus

Monday, February 7th, at 5:30 PM
Thurston County Complex, Bldg 1
2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Olympia

Cathy Wolfe, Sandra Romero, & Karen Valenzuela:

ORCAA ADAGE Comment Period Ends 1/31/11


Submitted to Shelton Blog by Fran Prescott
Mason County Progressive


2940-B Limited Lane NW
Olympia, WA 98502

RE: ORCAA Air Permit for
ADAGE MASON LLC Biomass Incinerator Plant

This letter is to request that ORCAA take into account the following concerns when considering the public comments for the Air Permit for the proposed ADAGE MASON LLC Biomass Incinerator Plant that is currently under consideration for our community. Although I have many concerns, one critical area that I believe should receive careful scrutiny is how will ORCAA take into consideration new information discovered during the SEPA process.

I was very disappointed that ORCAA decided to recommend approval of ADAGE Mason's Air Permit without the benefit of having the information of an completed SEPA process or from an Environmental Impact Statement.

After the SEPA and /or EIS processes are complete will the ORCAA Air Permit review process be reopened? Will the SEPA and /or EIS information be ignored?

What recourse does the public have if we consider that the ORCAA Air Permitting process was incomplete because all of the information was not included in ORCAA's analysis?

How long after the SEPA process is completed will the public have to determine the impact it would have on ORCAA's decision and ask ORCAA to consider our concerns?

We appreciate your department’s careful consideration of all of the important environmental questions raised by a project of this type and size. It is our hope that your department will hold ADAGE LLC to the highest possible standards during the Air Permitting process and that you will do your utmost to protect the health, safety and quality of life that Mason County residents look to you to safeguard.




ORCAA Comment Period for the ADAGE Permit ends January 31st.
Comments or hearing requests must be submitted in writing by this date.
By Mail: ORCAA, 2940-B Limited Lane NW, Olympia, WA 98502
By Fax: (360) 491-6308
By Email:

ORCAA Public Hearings will be held Monday, Jan. 31st, at 1:00 pm & 6:00 pm
in the Main Room of the Shelton Civic Center, 525 West Cota Street, Shelton.

Link to ORCAA Staff Recommendation Documents:

Above mentioned and additional documents can be found in "Reference Documents" on the tab bar of Shelton Blog.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Senate Bill 5228 Hearing 2/2/11 at 1:30 PM

HB 1081 Passing Would End Thurston County Moratorium

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Duff Badgley
Mason County Progressive

I have just spoken with a high-ranking Thurston County government official. This official told me, "If (HB 1081) passed, it would be the end of the moratorium".

We now have only one chance to make public comments in person to beat this vile bill that would pre-empt the country's only biomass incinerator moratorium in Thurston County.

Mark your calendars for:


Wednesday, February 2nd
1:30 pm
Hearing Room # 4
Cherberg Building
State Capitol Campus in Olympia.

For starters, tell Senate Environment, Water and Energy Committee chair, Phil Rockefeller (D-Bainbridge) the principal senate sponsor of SB 5228 (companion bill to HB 1081):


CONTACT: Sen. Phil Rockefeller
(360) 786-7644

Let's make the moratorium-killing bill too hot for Rockefeller and pals to handle!



Monday, January 24, 2011

Cartoon for the Day

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Claude Mason County Progressive


HB 1081 - DIGEST

Ensures that small alternative energy resource facilities are sited in a timely manner in local jurisdictions where there are no existing ordinances to permit these facilities, where applicable ordinances have not been updated in over ten years, or where ordinances have been adopted that impede the timely permitting of these facilities.

Encourages local governments to enter into interlocal agreements with the energy facility site evaluation council.

HB 1081 Would Block Thurston County Biomass Moratorium

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Katherine Price

There is a bill in committee in the Washington State House which would remove from the Thurston County Commissioners, and presumably any County Commissioners in Washington, the authority to place a moratorium on the construction of biomass facilities. It's not as simple as that sentence implies, but that is the gist of it.

A review of the bill is disheartening, as one reads a document created to move forward with greater speed projects which the citizens and local governmental agencies might want to slow down or even prevent.

House Bill 1081, introduced by Representatives Morris, Frockt and Moeller, would indeed remove the authority for permitting "small facility siting", and "development of small alternative energy resource facilities" from local authority. Why are they proposing to usurp local governmental authority? The language of the bill explains that: "The legislature finds that small alternative energy resource facilities provide various benefits to local communities such as..."

Now here we must pause, because what comes next will make the air-breathers of Mason County shudder. What the legislature finds of benefit to local communities are such things as:

"Reducing emissions of air, soil, and water pollutants", followed by jobs, diversifying energy and, of course, a clean, sustainable energy industry. So, the legislation opens with a giant lie. Surprise, surprise, surprise.

If local authorities do not get to decide for themselves, who will decide? Why the "Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council", of course. This organization was created under the auspices of RCW 80.50.030. Guess we will be learning a lot about the "Council" in the next few hours and days as we try to bring ourselves up to speed on yet another piece of the puzzle that Tim ShelTon and friends put in place weeks, months or years ago, for just such an occasion.

The Council's powers are defined in the legislation, and there are some conditions under which the Council would be the permitting agency, but I am sure they all fit neatly into what is required to insure that ADAGE and friends up and down the Olympic Peninsula get that they need. And there's good news for the state, they have decided the applicant shall pay $50,000, pocket change to Duke Energy, which funds will be used for things like council members' wages, employee benefits, and replenished when reduced...

One of the purposes of the Council, besides taking the authority from local governing agencies like county commissioners, is to speed things up. They will have public hearings, but not later than 60 days after receiving an application for site certification.

Some of the really offensive language comes at the end, such as: "A small alternative energy resource facility site permit issued by the Council preempts any local ordinance relating to small alternative energy resource facilities adopted after the issuance of a small alternative energy resource facility site permit". In English: If a county or city wanted to protect itself, say the City of Shelton from a second Simpson biomass facility which the Council had permitted, changing the local ordinance after they permitted would be trumped by this new law.

In closing, the legislature leaves us with this thought, oh fellow air-breathers:

"This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions and takes effect July 1, 2011."

This legislation is an abomination. It is written for industry, to thwart the will of the citizens, and it must be defeated.

We need to contact Kathy Haigh and Fred Finn to encourage them to vote against this bill.


Link to Complete Text of the House Bill 1081

CONTACT: Rep. Kathy Haigh (D)

CONTACT: Rep. Fred Finn (D)

CONTACT: Rep. David Frockt (D)

CONTACT: Rep. Jim Moeller (D)

CONTACT: Rep. Jeff Morris (D)

CONTACT: Sen. Tim Sheldon (?)

Gov. Chris Gregoire

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Who Pays for the Port's Schemes & Dreams?


Submitted to Shelton Blog by Tom Davis Mason County Progressive

A couple of weeks ago it was reported on this blog that the legal fees incurred by the Port of Shelton, in its effort to derail the Halls Equity Group project, had reached $75,000. According to a reliable source, these fees may now have exceeded $150,000. That’s $150,000 of public funds wasted during a time of economic crisis.

The Port seems intent on extending its authority to include privately held land within a two mile radius of Sanderson Field Airport. Documents obtained as part of a public disclosure request confirm that John Dobson, Executive Director of the Port and John Shambaugh, Senior Planner, WSDOT Aviation, are committed to this endeavor. Mr. Dobson and Mr. Shambaugh have been trying to get the FAA noise threshold of 65 DNL (Daylight Night Average Noise Level) to 50 DNL, thus allowing the Port to extend its authority to adjacent properties.

Toward this end, Mr. Dobson exhibits an almost rabid zeal.

But conditions at the Port will likely only get worse before they get better. And here’s why:

If there was ever any doubt the Port was something less than a fair and equitable arbiter of a biomass to power facility, that doubt was put to rest when close friend and supporter of all things Port, Dick Taylor, announced his intention to run for the position of Port Commissioner.

Mr. Taylor is an ardent supporter of biomass, as are the two sitting Commissioners. This is exactly what the public does not need: another retired military man, another friend on the board, and another fellow pilot eager to join the Cabal.

Given the aggressive position of the Port to subordinate public opinion to its agenda, one can only assume any local political position that opens up will be vied for by another friend and fellow pilot of the Port.

At the risk of appearing age insensitive, political service is best reserved for those under 70 years of age, if only to keep entrenched ideologies from gaining positions of authority. If Mr. Taylor succeeds in his bid to become a Commissioner, his contribution will do little to offset an already reptilian approach to Port policy.

On the bright side, if this gathering of old warhorses succeeds in rounding out their stable, the resulting gasification will likely render another biomass plant unnecessary. So, there is that.

Biomass Proponent Runs for Port Commissioner

Excerpt from:
Dick Taylor to Run for Port of Shelton Commission
By Dedrick Allan

This fall's election season has begun as Dick Taylor announced he will be running for Port of Shelton Commission. In a statement, Taylor outlines the importance of the Port to the local economy and the need for "clear direction, passion and proven leadership." The longtime Shelton resident is a retired naval commander, former Shelton City Commissioner and former director of the Shelton Mason County Chamber of Commerce. Taylor will be running for the seat currently held by Jack Miles.

Link to complete article:

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Submitted to Shelton Blog by Christine Armond Mason County Progressive


Shelton Civic Center packed with concerned citizens
(Many new faces present!)

Beth McBain, CCMC Board member, welcomed the crowd:
The ADAGE project will change the face of our community.
...We must exercise our right to be heard!
...100% of your donations go into the CCMC Legal Fund.

Dan A. Nelson, ORCAA Public Information Officer:
I am thrilled to see a room full of people interested in clean air!

Marty Best, Mason County Emergency Management Dept.:
Mason County must be prepared!

Michelle Morris, Concerned Citizens of Thurston County:
On Feb. 7th, at 5:30 pm, there will be a public hearing
on the Thurston County Moratorium. Come
& speak up to keep the moratorium in place!

Fran Prescott, CCMC Board member,
gave an erudite power point presentation:

Due to the resulting acid rain, will we still have a
shellfish industry
10-15 years down the road?
(Information table chart display in background)

Duff Badgley, Coordinator, No Biomass Burn:
1.5-2.0 million tons of dangerous carbon dioxide would
be emitted each year by the proposed incinerators
Shelton & surrounding areas alone!
...All eyes are on Mason County!

Keynote Speaker
Meg Sheehan, nationally acclaimed environmental lawyer:

Harass them into oblivion with the laws that
were put there for
our protection!
...Clean energy doesn't come out of a smokestack!

Jack Miles, Port of Shelton Commissioner,
the only elected Mason County official to openly oppose
the proposed ADAGE incinerator, mingled with constituents.
(One of many information tables in background)

Attending the Forum, our FIRST RESPONDERS to the crisis!
Duff Badgley, Arline Fullerton, Theresa Jacobson, & Jake Rufer
One year later, we continue to remain incinerator free,
thanks to these folks who first sounded the alarm!

Our deepest, heartfelt community appreciation to you!

All groups & members of our caring & hard working community!

Join with other local people taking action to protect our environment
& become a member of CCMC!



ORCAA Comment Period for the ADAGE Permit ends January 31st.
Comments or hearing requests must be submitted in writing by this date.
By Mail: ORCAA, 2940-B Limited Lane NW, Olympia, WA 98502
By Fax: (360) 491-6308
By Email:

ORCAA Public Hearings will be held Monday, Jan. 31st, at 1:00 pm & 6:00 pm
in the Main Room of the Shelton Civic Center, 525 West Cota Street, Shelton.

Link to ORCAA Staff Recommendation Documents:

Above mentioned and additional documents can be found in "Reference Documents" on the tab bar of Shelton Blog.

Thurston County Moratorium Public Hearing
Monday, February 7th, at 5:30 PM
Thurston County Complex, Bldg 1
2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Olympia

Below is a link to send an email of support to Thurston County Commissioners
Cathy Wolfe, Sandra Romero, & Karen Valenzuela:

Link to Atty. Meg Sheehan's website:

Photos by Christine

EPA Awards $25 MM to Health Effects Institute

Excerpts from:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is awarding $25 million to the Health Effects Institute to develop the tools and scientific information to address combined effects of air pollution on humans and the environment.

“This underscores the need for more scientific information on the effects of air pollution from sources like biomass incinerators on people’s health as well as on climate change,” said Diana Somerville, a science writer concerned about the need for reliable information about the impacts of biomass incinerators.

She notes an American Lung Association position statement that says, “biomass emissions contain fine particulate matter, sulfur oxides, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, and various irritant gases such as nitrogen oxides that can scar the lungs. Like cigarettes, biomass emissions also contain chemicals that are known or suspected to be carcinogens, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and dioxin.”

Nanoparticles, microscopic specks so tiny that hundreds equal the width of a human hair, are emitted by high temperature biomass burning. Nanoparticles, a tenth of a micron or less, present new challenges to human health. Slipping through all the body’s defense mechanisms, nanoparticles cross the placenta and blood-brain barriers.

Their health impact aren’t limited to individuals with pre-existing conditions. Children may be especially vulnerable.

Toxic nanoparticles from incineration carry poisons to every part of the body. Special medical treatments use nanoparticles to slip drugs past the body’s immune system.

Across Washington state, as many as 15 more wood-burning biomass incinerators are in various stages of the permitting process, according to the Department of Ecology.

“Risks to human health — and to our living, breathing ecosystems upon which our lives and livelihoods depend — are being trivialized, politicized or dismissed,” says Shirley Nixon with the Center for Environmental Law and Policy...

Link to complete article:

Friday, January 21, 2011

Anti-Biomass Op/Ed Submitted to Seattle Times

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Duff Badgley Mason County Progressive

Subject: Anti-biomass Op/Ed for Seattle Times
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2011 15:52:50 -0800

Hello Kate,

Biomass is an urgent, topical issue.

This week, you published a pro-biomass Op/ED by Rep. Jeff Morris.

Under Equal Time practice, please publish my anti-biomass Op/Ed. My word count is 564. You may not still have my headshot, so I am including it now.


Duff Badgley
Coordinator, No Biomass Burn
Seattle, WA


State biomass incinerators must still comply with federal climate law that requires reporting carbon dioxide emissions as a harmful pollutant. This is important and necessary because 1.5-2.0 million tons of dangerous carbon dioxide would be emitted each year by six incinerators burning forest wood proposed for the Olympic Peninsula and Longview alone. Up to 15 more biomass incinerators are proposed throughout the state, according to the Washington Department of Ecology.

Last week, the EPA announced a 3-year deferral on imposing federal greenhouse gas regulations on biomass incinerators under its Tailoring Rule. But Washington State law requires permits to include “ EPA…with future effective dates”. [WAC 173-401-200(4)]. The Tailoring Rule became final on June 3, 2010.

This combination of federal and state law means the “future effective date” of compliance with the Tailoring Rule has not gone away. It has simply moved back to 2014. So, the permitting process for all proposed biomass incinerators in Washington State must now include analysis of carbon dioxide emissions as a harmful pollutant.

These biomass incinerators incinerators would be carbon dioxide “factories”. One plant proposed by Adage for Mason County would emit 600,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency determined in 2009 that carbon dioxide, and five other human-caused greenhouse gases, pose a significant health threat to the American public.

Fearing toxic and greenhouse gas emissions, citizen groups and environmental organizations have sued to stop three biomass incinerators proposed for Mason County, Jefferson County, and Clallam County. Citing health and environmental concerns, Thurston County has imposed a 12-month moratorium on all types of biomass incinerators.

The EPA itself has already de-bunked the tired argument that burning forest wood is somehow ‘carbon neutral’. The EPA has accepted the overwhelming, peer-reviewed, published science documenting that re-absorption of carbon emissions from burning wood takes centuries and millennia—so long that carbon emissions from burning wood accelerate climate change, and do not retard it.

In its 2009 Endangerment Finding, the EPA wrote:

“Indeed, for a given amount of CO2 released today, about half will be taken up by the oceans and terrestrial vegetation over the next 30 years, a further 30 percent will be removed over a few centuries, and the remaining 20 percent will only slowly decay over time such that it will take many thousands of years to remove from the atmosphere.”-- Federal Register, Vol 74 (April, 2009), P 18899.

Dr. Timothy Searchinger was one of the climate scientists working with the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that originally published the assumption of the carbon neutrality of biomass combustion. Searchinger now admits he was wrong.

“…maintaining the exemption for CO2 emitted by bio-energy use under the protocol (IPCC) wrongly treats bio-energy from all biomass sources as carbon neutral.” From: "Fixing a critical climate accounting error," T. D. Searchinger et al., Science, 325:529, October 23, 2009

The EPA knows biomass incinerators emit vast amounts of dangerous carbon dioxide. Grassroots groups and ordinary citizens across the state know biomass incinerators emit vast amounts of dangerous carbon dioxide.

It’s past time for our elected officials to embrace the science documenting this danger from biomass incineration. It’s past time for elected officials to stop reflexively protecting special economic interests like the Washington timber industry—at the expense of the health and lives of ordinary citizens.

Duff Badgley is coordinator for No Biomass Burn, a statewide group fighting biomass incinerators. He was the 2008 gubernatorial candidate for the Green Party of Washington State.

Duff Badgley
Seattle, WA