Monday, July 26, 2010

Charlotte isn't only city pondering biomass

Posted By on Mon, Jul 26, 2010 at 1:43 PM

In Rothschild, Wis., people are also wondering if a biomass energy plant is the right answer. But, unlike residents in the Q.C., the conversation in Rothschild is heated.

The controversy makes Rothschild ground zero in a complicated and often emotional national debate about exactly how "green" wood-burning generators are. As similar proposals emerge across the country, scientific studies question whether trees will regrow fast enough to convert the carbon released into the air during biomass burning -- the crux of "green" claims by proponents of biomass plants.

Residents and officials here and elsewhere are being forced to decide whether their concerns about biomass' environmental effects overrule the promise of badly needed jobs and a chance to support the advancement of renewable energy.

That conflict exists for communities far beyond central Wisconsin's borders, but it is intensely personal to Rothschild and Wausau-area residents, both those who trust that the local project will be and those who don't.

Read the rest of this Rapids Tribune article, by Kathleen Foody and Amy Ryan, here.

Of course, here in Charlotte, the ReVenture eco-industrial park is speeding toward becoming a reality. While area environmentalists think most of the plans for the park are terrific, they're beginning to voice concerns about plans for a biomass energy plant slated to be built inside the park.

But, for some reason, Charlotte, the place long-known as a "hornet's nest" because of the outspoken populace, doesn't have much of a conversation going on about the topic. Why is that? What do you think about constructing a biomass energy plant on the edge of the Catawba River and Mecklenburg County?

Further reading: Not everyone in the Q.C. is excited about biomass

Here's a peek into a meeting in Russell, Mass., where things got a little snippy when the topic turned to their own biomass plant.

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