Friday, April 24, 2015

Portage Library to host talk on Biomass Apr. 28

Poster for Apr. 28 talk on biomass claims courtesy Diane Miller.

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library will host a presentation that takes a closer look at woody biomass energy production.

Diane Miller and Catherine Andrews will present "Power from Trees? An Investigation into the Issues Behind Biomass Claims" from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Apr. 28, at the library.

Woody  biomass is one option being considered for the Upper Peninsula as energy producers and others who are concerned about increasing energy needs look for new sources of power. Miller and Andrews will discuss their investigation of claims made about using biomass and share their findings. There will be time for questions and answers following their presentation.

"We will be addressing five claims that are commonly falsely made by proponents of woody biomass burning," Miller says. "Biomass proponents claim that (1) burning biomass is carbon neutral -- which it is clearly not; that it (2) is renewable -- which it is not in any meaningful time frame; that it (3) is 'just waste wood' -- even though plants burn tires, creosote railroad ties, garbage, and whole trees; that it (4) is 'environmentally friendly' when it harms human health and destroys ecosystems; and that (5) we have plenty of biomass fuel -- which we do not."

Miller and Andrews approach the issue of large scale biomass power generation from the informed citizen perspective. As landowners, they are responsible for wooded Upper Peninsula acreage. As grandmothers, they hold special concern for future generations.

Andrews is a L'Anse resident who serves on the L'Anse Township Planning Commission and is a member of a citizen advisory committee for the Warden biomass plant in L'Anse.

Miller has lived "off the grid" for the past ten years and is a professor of communication with a special interest in using communication responsibly for the good of the entire community.

Library presentations are free and everyone is welcome. For more information, please call the library at 482-4570 or visit

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