Letter from BCC Chairman about the future of biomass
Note: This page is an opinion piece written by BioenergyWiki user Bill Holmberg.
Teamwork between the Producers of Bioenergy, Food and Feed can Deal with the Major Problems facing America
Biomass affords the opportunity not only to provide fuel but also to improve the economy, public health, and environment. A massive commitment to renewable energy and energy efficiency, led by the bioenergy, food and feed team, coupled with prudent public and private spending, offer the best opportunities in dealing with these major problems. It is important to recognize that biomass, food and feed are the most ubiquitous and egalitarian energy systems (food and feed are energy systems for humans and animals) in the world. The value of national, state and corporate leadership in dealing with these challenges is important, but it is now critical that ordinary people take extraordinary actions to restore the economic and environmental health of the United States.
It is important to recognize the great value of basic “New Wealth Industries” in restoring the economic health of the United States. New wealth industries, with major economic development multipliers, include:
• Mining: oil, gas, coal, metals, etc. These are not renewable and are being depleted through out the world
• All renewable energy technologies, solar, wind, biomass (fuels, power, heat and products), geothermal, hydro and water power and renewable hydrogen are gaining momentum in the US and around the world
• Recycled energy and energy efficiency
• Human creativity and education
The rapid development of these industries is the linchpin to restore economic health in America. They are, and should continue to be, domestic industries. They are basic with major multipliers as good jobs are created and economic activity moves through society. Their multipliers range from four and up, whereas service industries are limited to a multiplier of one or two.
While they are focused domestically, new wealth industries do not damage global trade. In fact, the US trade deficit should decline with increased biofuels production, increased international marketing of food, information, and technologies. Bioenergy, food and feed should be seen as major spokes in a wheel advancing to the benefit of the planet, its environment and all living things. Some of the other spokes are outlined throughout this paper. They can not be neglected or the wheel will slow, and under the worst of circumstances, collapse.
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