Biomass rentseekers get caught in the squeeze.
“It says the area burned by wildfires is expected to at least double over the next 25 years, and insect infestations often will affect more land per year than fires… The nation’s forests currently store 13 percent of the carbon generated by burning fossil fuels every year, and losing trees to fire and insects makes it likely in coming years that forests in the West will start giving off carbon as they decay, the report said. It suggested that burning the trees cut during thinning operations in bioenergy plants to generate electricity would help reduce the carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels. Beverly Law, professor of global change forest science at Oregon State University, said in an email that her research in Oregon showed that despite more fire, the amount of carbon stored in forests continues to increase. Tara Hudiburg, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Illinois, said there is little conclusive evidence that burning trees for bioenergy helps reduce overall carbon emissions. Andy Stahl of Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics, a watchdog group, said the agency traditionally has been guided by political pressures, and he has seen no evidence that concern over climate change is now playing a role…”