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California judge orders Lowe's must pay $1.6 million civil settlement
A California Superior Court judge ordered big-box retailer Lowe's to pay $1.6 million as part of a civil consumer protection action settlement. The order, handed down on Aug. 27, by Judge Paul M. Haakenson, came as a response to a case involving claims by the Marin County, California, district attorney's office that the retailer "unlawfully advertised structural dimensional building products for sale."
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Institute aims to create new markets for wood-based construction materials
Clemson via FPS
Clemson University has formed a new institute whose founders hope to change how commercial buildings are constructed in the U.S. Clemson’s Wood Utilization + Design Institute will leverage the university’s assets in forestry, architecture, construction science and engineering to design, test and market innovative, sustainable wood-based materials for use in a commercial construction market dominated by steel and concrete.
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Steam and vacuum wood treatment for pests more efficient, less costly
Virginia Tech News
The rising cost of energy for heat has resulted in a dramatic increase in demand for firewood to fuel fireplace inserts, wood-burning stoves and outdoor boilers, according to the National Firewood Association. The increased demand, however, raises concerns about transporting firewood unknowingly infested with invasive insects.
After claiming an advanced biofuel 'doesn't exist,' media outlets ignore its large-scale production
Media Matters for America
Several media outlets ignored the opening of the country's largest advanced biofuel plant — which produces a fuel with a far lesser climate impact than gasoline that can help reduce our dependence on oil — even though they previously claimed that such a biofuel "does not exist."
The New York Times brazenly claimed in 2012 that cellulosic ethanol, a type of fuel made from agricultural waste such as corn stalks, "does not exist" — and many other news outlets also adopted this misleading framing.
Global wood pellet demand to reach 50 million tons by 2024
Global wood pellet demand could more than double in the next 10 years, growing from around 23 million tons in 2014 to 50 million tons in 2024. This is according to a new study carried out by RISI, an information provider for the global forest products industry.
Urban forest grows in small US town
Voice of America
A forest can flourish anywhere there’s room to plant a tree, even in cities.
That's important for the nearly 80 percent of Americans who live in urban areas that depend on the ecological, economic and health benefits provided by trees.
US lumber production surges in the first half
In the first half of 2014, U.S. lumber production totaled 15.599 billion board feet, according to Random Lengths publication. This represents an increase of 4.1 percent as compared to the first half of 2013.
NFR announces $312 million energy project
The Shreveport Times
Gov. Bobby Jindal and Chief Operating Officer Frank Randazzo of NFR BioEnergy announced the company will make a $312 million capital investment to install biorefineries at more than 10 sugar refining hubs in South Louisiana, subject to completing lease and biomass agreements with sugar mills.
NFR BioEnergy will convert sugar cane waste, known as bagasse, into hardened energy pellets for use as fuel at global power plants.
New biodegradable, cellulose food packaging cuts down waste
BEC via Science Alert
Think about how much food packaging you throw out every day. That plastic sushi wrapper. The container your yogurt came in. The plastic bag that held your grapes in one place, and the sachet that contained the sugar that you just poured into your coffee. People take for granted how much packaging their food is wrapped up in, and it’s having an enormous effect on the environment.
Fueling your car with farm waste is right around the corner
The opening of cellulosic ethanol plants in the American Corn Belt is the next big step toward cleaner energy.
Just down the road from the Wild Rose Casino in Emmertsburg, Iowa, a $275 million factory opened Sept. 3, that proponents predict will be the beginning of a “new era” in clean ethanol energy.
Global warming leading to increased fire danger
Helena Independent Record
Scientists say that climate change has implications for wildfire danger. Since the 1980s, Montana’s wildfire season increased by two months while average global temperatures have steadily trended upward. Climate researcher Steve Running has summarized the data this way: “Since 1986, longer, warmer summers have resulted in a fourfold increase of major wildfires and a sixfold increase in the area of forest burned, compared to the period from 1970 to 1986.”
How to convert standing dead trees to lumber, final story
Mother Earth News
Is a portable wood mill right for you? Everyone has to answer that question for themselves depending on their individual circumstances but it has been determined that for the author, Bruce McElmurray's homesteading needs it is worth while to have one, even when he only sets it up once a year. Being able to mill his own lumber is a distinct bonus for a homesteader who is faced with ongoing projects.
Are carbon capture and storage and biomass indispensable in the fight against climate change?
According to an international effort to compare and assess 18 models of the global energy-climate-economic system organized by Stanford University’s Energy Modeling Forum, worldwide efforts to mitigate dangerous climate change and halt the rise of carbon dioxide (CO2) to 450 parts per million (ppm) in the atmosphere may depend on two technologies: the ability to capture carbon from power plants and industrial facilities and store it in geological formations and to derive energy from biomass. The researchers agreed that global greenhouse gas emissions will need to be cut in half by 2050 and fall to zero or even below that by 2100 in order to keep atmospheric concentrations of these climate-warming gases below the equivalent of 450 ppm of CO2.
Emerald Ash Borer creeping closer
The Southwest Times
“It’s a pretty nasty insect,” Pulaski County Forester Jim Mueller said of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), which is creeping ever closer to Southwest Virginia and is wiping out ash trees by the tens of millions in the Midwest and Northeast.
Last month, EAB infestations were found in four more Virginia counties, including nearby Alleghany and Bath counties, and Faquier and Page counties in Northern Virginia.
Agri-Tech Producers develops new process to reduce biomass feedstock costs
Energy Business Review
Vega Biofuels announced that its Joint Venture (JV) partner, Agri-Tech Producers has developed a new and patent-pending process that dramatically reduces the cost of some of the biomass feedstock for the Company's Allendale, South Carolina, pilot torrefaction plant.
Vega recently announced it has entered into the JV to build and operate a pilot manufacturing plant in Allendale to produce bio-coal, among other torrefied products.
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