BURNED: Are Trees The New Coal?

THURSDAY January 24 @ 7:00pm

Documentary | NR

A film by Alan Dater and Lisa Merton

Climate Reality discussion following the screening.

BURNED tells the little-known story of the accelerating destruction of our forests for fuel, and probes the policy loopholes, huge subsidies, and blatant green washing of the burgeoning biomass electric power industry.

Doors will open 30 minutes prior to each showing. Tickets are $8.50 General and $7.50 for Seniors & Students.

“This film elicited a powerful and passionate response from our audience this year with many saying they had no idea about this issue and its devastating impacts. BURNED reveals the shocking destruction of our forests for fuel and the resultant rise in carbon emissions that exceed those of coal-burning.”

Audience Choice Award, American Conservation Film Festival Committee

BURNED is a feature-length documentary, which takes an unwavering look at the latest electric power industry solution to climate change. The film tells the story of how woody biomass has become the fossil-fuel industry’s renewable, green savior, and of the people and parties who are both fighting against and promoting its adoption and use.

Through interviews with activists, experts, and citizens, along with verité-style footage shot across the U.S. and in the EU and UK, the film interweaves the science of climate change, the escalating energy-policy disputes, the dynamics of forest ecology, the biomass industry practices, the conflict between jobs and trees, and the actions of activists and citizens who are working to protect their own health, their communities, the forest, and the planet’s climate.

Woven together, the various stories present an intimate and visceral account of what is at this moment in time a critical, yet mostly unknown, national and international controversy.

Here on the Big Island local community and environmental groups are concerned with the opening of Hu Honua Wood Burning facility in Pepe’ekeo, fearing it has misrepresented it’s environmental impacts and intent for area residents. Five groups have requested  Dept. of Health contested case hearings about the project, including Pepe’ekeo Shoreline Fishing Committee, Surfrider Foundation, Life of the Land, Sierra Club, and local resident Claudia Rohr.  Residents cite concern that Hu Honua has not conducted an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and are calling for this basic environmental oversight of the facility which claims to be “green” while proposing to spew 300,000 tons a year of Greenhouse Gas emissions from their smokestack, which is significantly greater than coal per megawatt hour of electricity produced. The facility also proposes to clearcut some 20,000 acres of trees in it’s first 8 years.  It will withdraw 21 million gallons of water per day from the Hakalau aquifer, add chemicals to the heated water and reinject into the Aquifer, entering the nearby ocean and potentially having damaging effects.  Water usage for the entire Hamakua Coastline from Waipio to Wailuku rivers is 17 million gallons per day.

Meanwhile in Waimea, a solar farm with battery storage is expected to be operational by 2022 at a proposed 11 cents per kilowatt hour compared to Hu Honua’s 21 cents, while other solar and wind projects for the island are being reviewed as well.