A Different Take on “Green Linings” to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

I’ve made mention of ideas out there related to more sustainable rebuilding ideas in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita — Gristmill has an excellent post from yesterday on an Alternet article focused on this topic. But the company Green Energy Resources provides another take on the “green lining” that could come from these storms:

Green Energy Resources (Pink Sheets:GRGR) is forging American efforts to recycle hurricane damaged wood for renewable energy. Hurricane wood waste could generate up to 10 percent of America’s electric power needs. Nearly 50 million tons of wood waste was openly dumped in Florida last year from four hurricanes. Over 200,250 megawatt biomass power plants could have reduced our energy vulnerability and saved taxpayers billions of dollars. The $1.5 billion dollars in FEMA-awarded contracts so far this year is three times greater than all federal monies appropriated for all renewable energy in the U.S. Energy bill. Green Energy Resources has pledged to purchase up to 2 million tons of wood chips from the Gulf states for international export. Joseph C. Murray, Green Energy Resources’ CEO, announced today it could purchase another million tons for power plants in the northeast.

Wood biomass for energy creates jobs, new exports, and diversifies our energy structure. Biomass can be transformed into ethanol, gasified, or mixed with coal to reduce greenhouse gases….The demand for wood biomass is expected to increase with the newly agreed upon northeast states Kyoto like compact. Twenty new biomass power plants are expected to be built in the north east in 2006 alone. The hurricanes exposed current U.S. energy policy as grossly inadequate. The evacuation disasters of New Orleans and Houston are major setbacks to any nuclear power comebacks in the United States.

Clearly, there’s a lot of trash piling up in New Orleans and on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and that will also be the case for SW Louisiana and SE Texas. While nothing can ease the pain and shock of the devastation caused by these storms, it’s good to see that many are thinking about we can take a sustainable step (or two) forward as we rebuild.

UPDATE: Also meant to mention this WorldChanging essay from Alan Atkisson on New Orleans rebuilding…

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