Wood Burning Stoves

Followers of my blog will know that I have been warning about wood burning stoves for some years. Let me make my position clear. There is no harm in having a few wood burning stoves in rural locations where there is a plentiful supply of waste wood. However, large scale deployment of wood burning stoves and boilers is wrong. They have two complimentary faults. They use wood which is better left to decay naturally over a long period of time, keeping the carbon locked in or leached to the soil and they create carbon dioxide emissions when the wood is burnt. Continue reading

Carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants and American judicial vision

Building a new power plant always raises objections. No one, who has any sense of welfare for themselves or their family, really wants a nuclear power station or indeed any other electricity generator of any large size in their own backyard. Nuclear plants have their own obvious dangers of escaping radioactive material, warmer seas caused by heat dumping and the so far insoluble problem of disposing of the waste safely. Oil and gas generating plants have problems with emissions but more so does coal. The cleanest burning coal power plant using every modern technology cannot come close to the relative cleanliness with which natural gas generates electricity.

Last year the United States Supreme Court declared that carbon dioxide was a pollutant. This may seem obvious but that ruling affects power plants in the United States because they are under a duty to control pollutants. Previously because carbon dioxide was not a pollutant the power plant did not have to control it.

In the State of Georgia the state authorities issued a permit for a new coal burning power plant at a place called Longleaf. Construction started and environmentalists challenged the legality of the permit on the grounds that the power plant operators were not constrained in the permit to control carbon dioxide. Continue reading