But news coming out of Vancouver has me a little confused. It seems that company wants to open up a biomass plant in an industrial area of Vancouver (for those unaware, Vancouver is just across the river from Portland, OR). This plant would burn wood debris and generate electricity for a group of nearby buildings. The excess electricity would be sold.
The confusing part comes as the Vancouver city council put a 6-month moratorium on any construction ad permit issuing. Apparently there are some concerns about noise, traffic and odor. But this moratorium is going to have a serious impact on the construction. Schneider Electric was going to build this plant with absolutely no local taxpayer money. A goodly portion, $8 million, of the $25 million dollar cost was going to come from a federal grant for these types of project. Schneider Electric was going to cover the rest of the costs. But the moratorium will likely cause the federal grant to expire, leaving the company to pick up the rest of the tab if it wants to build.
This is the kind of thing that really gets me about the whole green movement. Not only was this plant going to generate electricity in a fairly green manner, it wasn’t going to cost the local government a dime. Now I understand there are some concerns, but why shut the whole process down, and possibility cause the cancellation of a good project? I know there were environmental impact statements done during the planning stages. Heck, we can’t even fart without filing tons of paperwork with the local and federal level environmental folks. So why wasn’t this enough?