More on Michigan State’s big cellulosic ethanol drive

I wrote a couple of days ago about a company called Frontier Renewable Resources, a joint venture between JM Longyear and Mascoma that is planning to convert trees in Michigan into ethanol for biofuel. There has been a follow up story in the Michigan Messenger. Patrick K. Egan at the Messenger has managed to talk to Longyear CEO, Steve Hicks about project.

Egan’s written a nice feature about what the arrival of the Mascoma plant might mean for the northern Michigan Peninsula.

There are some concerns about job losses. There is mention of the cost of  generating the cellulosic ethanol jobs. There is some speculation that Frontier Renewable Resources might import timber from Canada… It is worth reading.

It is also worth noting that Hicks says that there have been a couple of timber plant closures in the past couple of years that has increased the amount of timber available by around 2m acres of forest land (about 800 000Ha).

The piece is well balanced and also touches on some of the cost of jobs generated by the grant. I guess that the fear is that these will simply be temporary jobs and that once the money has gone then the jobs will disappear too. Though in 2009 is there such a thing as a permanent job? 

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