I’ve come across more mainstream news articles lately that are not so blindly anti-biomass. Too often, the loud opinions of opposition groups catch the eyes and ears of reporters more than the business-as-usual demeanor of a developer or city councilor who is in favor of a biomass project.
What reporter wants to talk to a calm man in a suit when she could pick the group of loud people holding signs and photos of what they believe to be smoke from a smokestack at a biomass plant? Even though most of those are actually of steam, the scene has more, you know…entertainment value.
But I have begun to see a shift. I hope. I can’t quite label it a trend, but mainstream biomass coverage has been more positive, and therefore more accurate.
Some small towns are anxiously waiting to fully realize the benefits sure to come with their proposed biomass plants. And big towns too. Chicago has a multi-faceted project in the works at a 93,500-square-foot former meat packing plant that includes, among many other operations, vertical farms and a beer brewery, with an anaerobic digester for the brewery waste. The anaerobic digester will provide energy for the 20 tenants of the three-story building. Neighbors are excited, as are alderman, and developers of the facility say even Mayor Rahm Emanuel has shown interest.
So maybe it’s not quite a trend, but might be the beginning of a transition to a less biased and more accurate portrayal of biomass in the U.S. It’s been hard to build up the biomass industry with so many misinformed people who have made it their main goal to ensure it crumbles.