Welcome to our latest newsletter of 2022, full of updates about campaigns that we – and you – have been supporting, and policy developments.
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- Please Object To Drax’s Dangerous Carbon Capture Plans
- Biomass & Drax Power Station – Trade Union briefing
- Open letter with Dogwood Alliance
- California Doubles Down on Refinery Conversions to Biofuels
- Barclays action
- Introducing the Stop Burning Trees (SBT) Coalition
- VT/New England biomass
- Cut Carbon Not Forests (CCNF)
1. Please Object To Drax’s Dangerous Carbon Capture Plans
The UK’s single largest carbon emitter and the world’s biggest tree burner, Drax, has applied to the Planning Inspectorate to add unproven carbon capture equipment to two of its wood-burning units at Drax Power Station near Selby in Yorkshire. Sadly, the government persists in ignoring almost all of the climate impacts of biomass energy. However, we believe that there are nonetheless strong arguments why the application can and should be rejected which you can find here.
Thank you to everyone who has already submitted their objection to Drax’s planning application. If you haven’t, there is still time until the 5th September, please click the button below which will have more information including the process and a draft response which you can use.
Also please amplify this by sharing as wide as you can we have added a variety of ways you can share this from social media, email and SMS you can find this by visiting the webpage (click the button above) and going to the end of the ‘how to object to Drax’s planning application for BECCS’ section click on the relevant icon you would like to use for sharing.
2. Biomass & Drax Power Station – Trade Union briefing
We are pleased to co-host a Trade Union Briefing on Wednesday 24th Aug from 6:30-8pm (UK time). Thai will be an opportunity to find out more about our Axe Drax campaign and how you can take action with us. To join or find out more please click the link button below:
3.Open Letter To The Nature Conservancy: Stop Perpetuating Forest Destruction, Pollution, Carbon Emissions And Environmental Injustice
158 organisations, Including Biofuelwatch, have signed an open letter expressing their concerns with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), America’s biggest and richest conservation organisations. The letter reveals that the TNC works with the logging and wood products industries to falsely promote chopping down our forests as a ‘natural climate solution,’ harming the climate, biodiversity, and communities of color in the process. Read the open letter here and click below to read ‘The Nature Conspiracy’ report in full.
4. California Doubles Down on Refinery Conversions to Biofuels
Our colleague in California has written a blog detailing the irregularities related to the process of environmental review and regulation scrutiny at various levels in California which is seemingly allowing authorities there to give a generous hand to refineries like Phillips 66 to achieve industry objectives at the expense of the public interest this is as community concerns are intensifying about the irregular governance of these unprecedented industrial bioenergy projects. You can ready Gary’s full blog below:
5. Barclays action
There is still time to support our campaign to ask Barclays to put an end to its financing of and investment in Drax and its projects, which enables Drax to continue to destroy forests across the globe and exacerbate the climate crisis. Please click the button below which has more information including a letter which you can complete and send to Barclays, and how you can help share the ‘Better without Barclays’ campaign through social media.
6. Introducing the Stop Burning Trees (SBT) Coalition
The Stop Burning Trees (SBT) Coalition is made up of groups and people coming together to take action against the destructive biomass industry. From environmental campaigners, to trade unionists and health campaigners, we are demanding an end to the biomass industry and the £billions in subsidies given to burning trees and polluting. Our next welcome call is on the 6th of September at 7pm, you can sign by clicking below:
Please also visit the SBT coalition website where you will find our facebook, twitter and Instagram links, please do follow us. We’re also holding a ‘Object to Drax’s Carbon Capture Con With Us’ workshop on August 30th you can sing up by clicking the below button:
7.VT/New England biomass
In 2020, the state of Vermont passed a “global warming solutions act”, which would set a legal mandate for emissions reductions. A “climate council” was established to evaluate the options and develop a plan. The council consists of several working groups. In the process of developing these plans biomass has arisen as a particularly contentious issue – so much so that a separate task force was formed. That task force has been bogged down now for many months as members continue to debate and argue over just what role biomass should or should not have.
Meanwhile, state house committees have been holding hearings on two other relevant pieces of legislation: a “clean heat standard” that would provide incentives for use of biodiesel and biomass for heating, and a bill that would provide a 10 year extension to the Ryegate biomass power facility. The clean heat standard was defeated, by a very slim margin, but remains in play as its strong advocates are pushing it through in the context of the climate council working groups. The Ryegate facility was granted a permit for 2 years continued operation, with the requirement that it demonstrate an increase in efficiency or otherwise shut down. The owners first suggested colocation of a shrimp farm (yes, in landlocked Vermont!!!) and then suggested they would produce biochar instead as their efficiency improvement measure. We are arguing that none of these other biomass/biofuel measures should be moving forward until the biomass task force completes its work in evaluating what role biomass should play (or not) in the state’s overarching efforts to reduce emissions.
As all of this is ongoing, the newly minted group Standing Trees has been ever more engaged on all levels with biomass matters in the state. A new generation of informed activists has gained traction here. Meanwhile, in neighboring Massachussets, where there has been a longer term and more coordinated effort, activists have succeeded to get a measure passed through the state legislature that will remove biomass from the definition of renewable energy under the states renewable portfolio standard – a broad stroke that legislators in neighboring states, like Vermont, will need to take note of and, we hope, follow suit.
We are still encouraging everyone to sign or share the petition from the Cut Carbon Not Forest coalition, of which Biofuelwatch is part, telling the government to stop burning trees for energy. It has over 30,000 signatures, and we’d love to see that number get even higher.
If you, or a group you are part of, are interested in organizing a screening of this award-winning documentary please email us a: firstname.lastname@example.org. We will try to organize guest speakers from wood pellet-sourcing regions shown in the film.