Tag Archives: cap and trade

Making Forests Pay While Benefiting Everybody

Spider against the pines The state of Georgia already finances a Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) to plant longleaf pines with associated native ground cover (partridge pea that the quail like, and bunch grasses such as wiregrass that help fuel periodic fires).

However, CRP payments typically only last 10 years and not more than 15 years, and such trees usually eventually get cut for sawtimber or pulpwood. Now that’s better than cotton: much less pollution involved and far more carbon sequestered.

But even better would be to treat such replanting as real reforestration and sell carbon sequestration rights for such forests. Like what is being planned in Florida: Continue reading

Reforestation for Profit

It seems that reforestation and land restoration produces twice as many jobs as biomass and nine times as many as nuclear.

Nor does any of this have to adversely affect the Georgia lumber industry. It’s well established that the currently popular method of clearcutting isn’t the only way. Pine forests can be managed profitably via selective logging; here’s more about that.

That permits the forest to remain a forest, with native vegetation, wildlife, hunting, recreation, flood control, etc., all for more forests than we have now.

Plus carbon sequestration credits.

Cotton farmers might like growing trees better under such economic conditions.

All this is shovel-ready for stimulus. There’s no new technolgy to develop for forest planting or management. Just implement carbon-sequestration credits for ongoing sustainability, and perhaps use stimulus funding to speed planting trees.

Forestry ACES

Garcia River Forest, recognized by the California Climate Action Registry as a certified source of carbon credits. In Salon, Chris Kahn writes that Winners and losers emerge in climate bill:
Owners of large tracts of forest land also will get a lot of interest from the business community. Like farmers, environmental experts see them as a huge player in the carbon economy because of their natural ability to absorb carbon.

Louis Blumberg, director of climate change for the Nature Conservancy’s California chapter, envisions a system in which forest owners could make money simply by signing an agreement to cut down fewer trees for lumber.

The Nature Conservancy did just that last year with the Conservation Fund, a nonprofit agency that owns about 24,000 acres of redwood and douglas fir forest northwest of San Francisco. The groups changed the logging schedule on the property, and the fund expects to receive about $2 million from Pacific Gas and Electric, which participates in a regional climate initiative similar to the one that the Waxman-Markey bill would create around the country.

“This is really a model of what can happen,” Blumberg said. “Property owners everywhere want to figure out a way to be part of this.”

The picture is of Garcia River Forest, “recognized by the California Climate Action Registry as a certified source of carbon credits.”

South Georgia has a lot of forest land. Some of it is even natural. Maybe Georgia Power or Colquitt Electric would like to trade some carbon credits for letting trees grow longer. Of course, it doesn’t have to be a power comapany based in Georgia. Maybe PG&E would like to trade….

Waxman-Markey Passes House

Scherer Coal Plant, Juliette, Ga.: dirtiest in the countryThe Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act just passed the House by 219-212. It’s not entirely clear what’s in it, considering the 300 pages added yesterday. But if it’s anywhere near as good as its proponents suggest, it’s a step in the right direction.

My favorite parts are actually not in the bill itself; they’re analysis by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO):

  • Protect consumers from energy price increases. According to estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency, the reductions in carbon pollution required by the legislation will cost American families less than a postage stamp per day. CBO calculates that the legislation will cost the average household less than 50 cents per day.
And if that wasn’t enough:
According to the CBO score of the legislation, ACES meets PAYGO requirements. For scoring purposes, CBO considers the creation of allowances as an increase in revenues and the free distribution of allowances as an offsetting outlay. Using this methodology, CBO estimates that the legislation will raise federal revenues by $846 billion over ten years and increase direct spending by $821 billion, resulting in a net $24 billion reduction in the federal budget deficit.
No, wait, this may be the best part:
ExxonMobil (XOM) , ConocoPhillips (COP), Chevron (CVX) and the American Petroleum Industry denounced the bill,
If the oil industry hates it, there must be something good about it.

Now we’ll see if it can get through the Senate without the oil industry turning benefits for renewables into renewable subsidies for the oil industry.

And the coal industry. The picture is of the Scherer coal plant in Juliette, Georgia (near Macon), which is the biggest single point source of carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S., and about the third biggest in the world. Most of the electrical power used in Lowndes County currently comes from this plant.