Sunday, July 25, 2021

Play

Supporters of the U.S. Postal Service are pressing to affirm its commitment to six-day-a-week delivery for letters and packages, and Congress looks to tackle "forever chemicals."

Play

A bipartisan infrastructure bill could be released today; Speaker Pelosi taps another Republican for the January 6th panel; and a "Selma-style" march for voting rights heads for Austin, Texas.

Critics: Biogas' Clean-Energy Claims Evaporate Under Scrutiny

Play

Thursday, July 11, 2019   

BOISE, Idaho – The breakdown of farm byproducts such as manure into energy is touted as a renewable fix for the future.

But critics say the clean energy dreams of biogas have fizzled out.

A new analysis from the organization Food and Water Watch says the process of anaerobic digestion to convert organic material into biogas actually releases carbon dioxide and other pollutants, potentially offsetting other greenhouse gas reductions.

The group also notes biogas is made up largely of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that can leak out during energy production.

"We see it as 'greenwashing' the fossil fuel industry that wants to move more gas around, whether it came from factory farm waste or from drilling, and we see big, environmentally damaging livestock operations that have too much manure in one place getting these really big-ticket facilities built that are just going to keep them around for longer," says Patty Lovera, assistant director of Food and Water Watch.

Lovera notes that biogas technology only is available on industrial-scale farms that have large sources of manure.

A North Carolina-based company announced in June that it plans to build six biogas production facilities outside Burley, Idaho, which are expected to bring nearly 100 jobs to the area.

Each facility is expected to produce enough natural gas to power 6,800 homes per year.

The facilities will have plenty of manure to work with. Idaho is one of the top five dairy producers in the country.

The six facilities outside Burley will cost about $240 million and the natural gas will be shipped via pipeline to California.

Lovera says biogas operations are expanding across the country and once facilities are built, we could be stuck with them.

"Once you invest that kind of money, you don't move away from that facility,” she stresses. “So it's locking us in to old choices, right? Not moving us towards better ones."

Lovera adds there are a lot of driving forces for biogas. Some states offer renewable credits for it. And a joint program between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Agency known as AgSTAR promotes biogas production as a way to reduce greenhouse gases and create energy independence for farms.


get more stories like this via email

While most electricity in Utah is generated by gas or coal-powered plants, one regional utility is considering the nuclear option. (brianguest/Adobe Stock)

Environment

SALT LAKE CITY -- In the push toward carbon-free energy production, some cities in Utah and nearby states are considering a new type of nuclear …


Health and Wellness

TAMPA, Fla. -- Move United's USA Wheelchair Football League is expanding from four cities to nine, including Tampa, to give athletes with …

Environment

CRAIG, Colo. -- What would it look like if one in four households in the country was solar-powered? A new report from the "30 Million Solar Homes" …


According to the American Heart Association, one in five cardiac arrests occurs in public, such as on a job site. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

DES MOINES, Iowa -- People across the Midwest, including Iowans, have dealt with a series of heat waves this summer. Health experts say hotter …

Social Issues

NEW YORK -- Over 10,000 New York and New Jersey front-line airport workers will get health insurance as part of new contract negotiations that come at…

More than 400 laws have been introduced this year that would restrict voting rights across the country. (Lakshmiprasad/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

INDIANAPOLIS -- Voting-rights advocates applaud this week's federal appeals-court decision to prevent Indiana from purging some voters from the rolls …

Environment

BOSTON -- A new survey finds widespread public support up and down the East Coast for protecting right whales from getting tangled up in fishing gear…

Environment

CARSON CITY, Nev. - A bill just introduced in the U.S, Senate would help thousands of species stay off the Endangered Species List - including …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021