Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 92

92 Arctic Yearbook 2015 in the development of numerous new businesses including the processing of wood-pellet biomass as a means of providing employment and economic stability for community members. Further study by the report’s authors showed that the residual byproducts of the logging industry could have substantial economic, environmental and social benefits. Community members reap the benefits of energy cost savings and job creation spurring new business; the net environmental benefits of switching from oil to biomass results in significant CO2 emission reductions and modern biomass technology addresses air quality issues traditionally associated with wood-fuel combustion exhaust, including reductions in black carbon. But, numerous impediments hinder the development of renewables, the least of which is the need for investment. “Sealaska leaders believe that favorable policies, such as tax on fossil-fuel carbon emissions could play a pivotal role in the adoption of wood-pellets for energy” (9). In addition the authors suggest that renewables would benefit by feed-in tariffs, investment subsidies for heating conversion, and tighter environmental regulations at local, state and federal levels (Sikka, Thorton & Wori 2013). Unlike traditional biomass techniques, modern biomass technology relies on locally available wood chips and shavings, lumber off-c