BAC Op-Ed on Role of Forest Bioenergy to Reduce Wildfires


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In September, 2013 The San Francisco Chronicle published an Op-Ed by BAC Executive Director Julia Levin on the role bioenergy can play in reducing catastrophic wildfires.

The Rim Fire is a sad reminder that wildfires are a growing threat to public health, safety and the water and power supplies for large parts of California. California can significantly reduce those risks by investing in small, sustainable forest biomass facilities that would use green waste to create renewable energy.

California has passed legislation (Senate Bill 1122, authored by former state Sen. Michael Rubio from Kern County) to accelerate bioenergy development from forestry and other organic waste sources, and it is now up to the Public Utilities Commission to adopt rules that will get facilities built in time to prevent more Rim Fires. These facilities use the forest biomass (brush, branches, small trees, bark collected to reduce fire risks) as the fuel to generate electricity in small power plants.