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[GreenYes] Clarification of Support for ASES report and MSW Policy

A few weeks back the Sierra Club recognized a report as their official
roadmap to confronting global warming that presents a biomass strategy that
supports incineration of municipal solid waste. The letter below is their
clarifying statement on this issue forwarded to me by the Sierra Club. I
have removed the contact information of the person who this letter was
originally sent to for the purpose of confidentiality.

Clarification of Support for ASES report and MSW Policy


On January 31, 2007, the Sierra Club strongly endorsed the study Tackling
Climate Change in the U.S: Potential Carbon Emissions Reductions from
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy by 2030. Sierra Club Executive
Director Carl Pope joined eminent climate scientist James Hansen, House
Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, and others at the
kickoff event for the study.

The stunning results of that research by leading experts in the field of
clean energy led us to declare that its underlying data would become the
strategic basis for the Sierra Club's global warming and energy advocacy.
That does not mean that we endorse and adopt every single word and
calculation of the report, which is the work of several sets of researchers
from a variety of institutions brought together by the American Solar
Energy Society.

For example, the inclusion of municipal solid waste incineration in favor
of recycling programs in the report is not something that the Sierra Club
endorses now or will endorse in the future. The size of the emissions
reductions claimed from MSW in the ASES study are small and assume that
high quality materials are removed for recycling. It is not the Sierra
Club's policy, but it does not fundamentally change the overall results of
the study or our support for its conclusions. The underlying results of
the study will instruct the Sierra Club's roadmap, but will not be
absolutely identical to it. The assumptions for our roadmap will not
include incineration of municipal solid waste.

While we did not go out of our way to highlight the Sierra Club's
differences with our policy at the release of the study and chose to
accentuate the vast areas of agreement, this accurate depiction of our
stance on MSW is important and our policy is unchanged: "Municipal
incineration is not considered acceptable because of its adverse
environmental and health effects and the destruction of materials that
could be conserved while saving energy through other management methods."
(Sierra Club policy on Municipal Solid Waste, March 14-15, 1992.) See the
full policy at:


Dave Hamilton
Director, Global Warming and Energy Program
Sierra Club
408 C St. NE
Washington, DC 20002

202-548-6595 -- direct

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