Low-Grade Markets, Oil Subsidies

Joseph Zorzin redoak at forestmeister.com
Mon Jan 31 07:30:38 EST 2000

Larry Caldwell wrote:

> In article <3893886D.6585C5E2 at daviesand.com>, karl at daviesand.com writes:
> > If we got rid of  all these subsidies, the retail cost of oil and gas
> > would go up by a minimum of $.30 per gallon.  If you figure the high
> > ends for all the costs, the retail cost of oil and gas would go up by
> > $1.50 per gallon.  Guess what happens when the costs of oil and gas go
> > up?  Right, people scramble for substitutes, including biomass, which
> > includes wood.  All of a sudden there are markets for low-grade
> > material.  All of a sudden there's no excuse for not practicing good
> > silviculture.  All of a sudden, the "utilization specialists" are out
> > looking for real jobs. <G>
> I have always been astonished that anyone heats their homes with fossil
> fuels.  The modern pellet stove is pollution free, over 90% efficient,
> and runs on renewable resources that don't contribute to additional
> atmospheric CO2 or global warming.  A minor modification would convert
> the fuel to pellet furnaces with all the convenience of central heat.

Oregon doesn't have the cold climate of New England. People here for
centuries broke their backs staying warm with wood or shoveling coal into
their furnaces. When oil central heating systems became available- people
thought it was a God send. That's the reason it's so popular.

> That would give a great market for all the low grade wood products that
> are being burned in the woods right now, plus lots of paper products and
> other recycled wood that can't be turned back into useful products.

But the use of those fuels will have to be more convenient- people don't
want to spend hours each day muscling wood fiber products around their
dwellings to feed the furnace. It must not only be price competitive but
also comparably convenient. Raising oil prices will help.

> -- Larry

Joe  Zorzin
Massachusetts Licensed Forester #261

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