Letters to the Editor

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ENERGY: Simpson isn’t doing anything new

Letter by Michael J. Brown, DuPont on June 22, 2012 at 12:52 pm with No Comments »
June 22, 2012 1:17 pm

Re: “Simpson a green model” (TNT, 6-22).

As one who spent approximately 25 years in the pulp and paper business in positions that included maintenance superintendent, plant engineer and plant manager, I found the article quite interesting. I couldn’t help thinking, “Welcome to the 1980s.”

I read the article several times trying to find the new, cutting-edge practices that Simpson is employing in order to become a “green model.” Perhaps they weren’t included in the article?

Biomass boilers have been part of the pulp and paper industry for the better part of three decades. Potlatch Corp. in Idaho was a partner with its utilities in cogeneration projects in the early 1980s. That Simpson’s biomass project is the largest in a decade shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering that the industry has been in decline for at least two decades.

The article appeared to me to be substituting buzz-words (renewable energy, diverse) — somehow “sustainability” was left out — for substance.

The practices described in the article aren’t recent innovations resulting from the Messianic inspiration of the Obama administration; they’ve been part of the pulp and paper industry for the past 30 years. About the only thing in the article that I found to be a departure from past practices appears to be that Simpson has figured out how to more creatively secure federal funding.


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