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Invasive Plant Sparks Biofuel Debate

Giant reed, a fast-growing hardy grass species found throughout Texas and other southern states that the US government is considering using as a renewable fuel source.

Sounds like a resolution to solve the giant reed problem right? Not quite according to scientists and environmentalists arguing that the ecological and economic risks are greater than the possible benefit. The EPA would encourage farmers to grow giant reed and other invasive grasses for biofuel production.

The use of invasive species as biofuel could bring unintended consequences.

 
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Lake Whatcom Water Quality Issues - The lack of oxygen is caused by algae growth which is fed by large quantities of phosphorous. The phosphorous comes from the soils and hillsides, but also comes from fertilizers and animal waste. In the summer of 2009 the city of Bellingham had to restrict water use because there was so much algae in the lake which was clogging the filters on the city water pipe and making it hard for water to get through.


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