Net Benefits of Biomass Power Under ScrutinyIn other words, there is no alternative - yet - to coal. Environmentalists - and Obama - can talk till they're blue in the face about "green" alternatives but the sad fact remains - there is no "green" alternative. And wishing it were so doesn't make it so.
By Tom Zeller, Jr., New York Times
[P]ower generated by burning wood, plants and other organic material, which makes up 50 percent of all renewable energy produced in the United States, according to federal statistics, is facing increased scrutiny and opposition.
That, critics say, is because it is not as climate-friendly as once thought, and the pollution it causes in the short run may outweigh its long-term benefits.
The opposition to biomass power threatens its viability as a renewable energy source when the country is looking to diversify its energy portfolio, urged on by President Obama in an address to the nation Tuesday. It also underscores the difficult and complex choices state and local governments face in pursuing clean-energy goals. [link]
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* Biomass, according to Wikipedia, is "a renewable energy source, biological material derived from living, or recently living organisms such as wood, waste, (hydrogen) gas, and alcohol fuels. Biomass is commonly plant matter grown to generate electricity or produce heat."
** Okay, nuclear power is a viable alternative. But there are too many environmentalists out there who oppose it - out of ignorance - to let that technology go forward in an appreciable way.