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[greenyes] Energy Bill and Recycling -Updated Action Alert & Vote Expected Today
GreenYes ListServe,

          RE: Action - Oppose Closing Off Senate Debate on Energy Bill, HR 6

Doug Koplow's analysis of the adverse impacts of the energy bill on recycling 
and composting provides specific reasons for GRRN and leaders in the 
recycling community to oppose closing off debate in the U.S. Senate on the Energy 
Conference Report for HR 6.

Please call you senator this morning and tell them to oppose the "cloture" 
motion, which would end the filibuster.  The Capitol switchboard number is 

I doubt that more than a couple senators know that HR 6 would adversely 
affect recycling and composting.

Senator Majority Leader Frist said on Sunday that they are still 2 votes 
short of ending the filibuster.  A vote may be taken at anytime.

Key Midwestern senators from farm states where ethanol is an issue face 
renewed pressure from lobbyists to change their votes.  Calls to these senators are 
particularly important:

Evan Bayh (D-Indiana)
Carl Levin (D-Michigan)
Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan)
Herbert Kohl (D-Wisconsin)
Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin)

In addition, Hawaii's senators face pressure from the oil industry and West 
Virginia senators face pressure from the coal industry.

Regardless of their vote on Friday, calls are needed to all U.S. Senators 

Lance King
Recycle and Vote Environment (RAVE)
A 2004 Voter Education and Outreach Project

In a message dated 11/20/03 8:12:07 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
koplow@no.address writes:
> Just a heads up that HR6, the Energy Policy Act of 2003 that has just been 
> passed by the House, contains a range of provisions likely to harm recycling 
> and composting.  Though I am still in the process of analyzing the bill, it is 
> clear that many wastes that can be recycled will receive tax subsidies of 
> 1.8 or 1.2 cents per kWh if they are instead burned for electricity.  So far 
> I've seen no countervailing subsidies to recycling to at least keep some 
> neutrality among the options.  This once again demonstrates the folly of recycling 
> interests trying to obtain subsidies for recycling rather than contesting 
> subsidies to landfilling, incineration, and virgin materials production, all of 
> which devalue recycling.
> The following practices are eligible for subsidies under the bill and likely 
> to harm recycling and composting:
> -Landfill gas
> -Waste-to-energy plants burning mixed MSW (this is one of first bills to 
> include WTE on the list of "qualified" biomass facilities.  Normallly, it is 
> explicitly excluded.
> -Another notable exception:  almost all the past versions of the "biomass 
> subsidies for everybody" provisions excluded old growth timber from 
> eligibility.  This one does not.  I guess old growth makes good fuel...
> -Waste pallets and construction and demolition debris of all types other 
> than treated wood.
> -Other electricity made from wood residues, including at existing 
> facilities.  This appears to provide tax subsidies to existing energy recovery at paper 
> mills (among others).  I working to confirm this, but if it is the case, 
> would be a subsidy of hundreds of millions of dollars to virgin paper production 
> for something they've already been doing for 30 years.  
> -Paper that is not "commonly recycled," which will likely harm attempts to 
> broaden the range of recycled fiber.  No definition of what falls into the 
> "commonly recycled" category.
> -For composting, pretty much anything woody out of a forest, anything with 
> carbon on a farm.  This includes wastes from sheep, pigs, chickens, and cows 
> that get subsidized if you make electricity out of it.  Especially with animal 
> wastes, the primary beneficiaries will be the very large animal factory 
> farms, as they are the ones with enough waste to run an energy plant.  The 
> provisions, aside from undermining organics recovery through composting, will also 
> worsen the relative economics of family versus corporate farms, and of 
> organic farms (which rely on nutrient recycling) versus chemical-intensive farms.
> In fact, all of the issues I highlighted in a past op-ed on and earlier 
> energy bill seem to be items of concern in HR 6.  See:
> For more on the impact of landfill gas subsidies on recycling see:
> For details on the energy bill provisions I've evaluated to date (lots of 
> the recycling stuff not yet in there), see:
> Finally, for a bit of satire on the rather sordid process of this bill, see:
> _______________________________
> Doug Koplow
> Earth Track, Inc.
> 2067 Massachusetts Avenue - 4th Floor
> Cambridge, MA  02140
> Tel:  617/661-4700
> Fax: 617/354-0463

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