Should CA Cap and Trade provide $ for clearcutting?

EPFW was featured on a Bay Area News story (Channel 11 NBC) on May 17 about how the timber industry–in this case Sierra Pacific Industries–will be using the Cap and Trade offsets market to make potentially hundreds of million of dollars from “business as usual”  timber practices. It is a complicated issue and the news spot doesn’t make all the connections–it doesn’t mention clearcutting– but it does question why companies like SPI should be profiting from dubious Cap and Trade offsets for tree plantation projects they would have done anyway.

EPFW members Susan Robinson, Ron Szymanski, and Bruce Castle–along with Brian Nowicki of the Center for Biological Diversity–challenged the rewarding of SPI for their destructive timber practices.

The big problem with the Forest Protocol offset program is that clearcutting should never be rewarded because it releases massive amounts of carbon when soil, trees and vegetation are destroyed. Mature forests store carbon the best — not industrial tree farms that SPI is planting in the wake of their destructive clearcuts. And the California Air Resources Board hasn’t accounted for the carbon in the soil, woody debris and vegetation that is released by clearcutting practices.

California’s Cap and Trade market is unlikely to actually reduce carbon in the atmosphere if polluters are allowed to purchase these bogus timber industry offsets.

Click here to view the video

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