Renew The Earth

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Bioenergy > Organizations > NGOs > United States NGOs > Renew The Earth (RTE)

Logo of Renew The Earth (RTE).


Introduction to Renew The Earth

Renew the Earth is organized to encourage the international exchange of ideas, information, and actions in the transition from a fossil-based economy to one increasingly reliant on sustainable energy and water. Specifically, this includes:

    • Supporting the wide range of public and private sector organizations and industries directly and indirectly committed to sustainably advancing biofuels, biopower/energy, and biobased products.
    • Encouraging the international exchange of ideas, information, and actions in the transition from a fossil hydrocarbon-based economy to one increasingly reliant on renewable carbohydrates.
    • Advancing biomass industries in a manner that improves rural economic development and provides new and lasting opportunities for small-scale businesses and local communities.
    • Ensuring the sustainability of biomass feed stocks through research, best practices, and technological advances to enhance the fertility and carbon content of the soil, conservation and protection of water resources, wildlife habitat, wetlands, and watersheds.
    • Working collaboratively with the oil industries in the transition from heavier to lighter carbon fuels—the transition from geology to biology to support future generations.
    • Supporting enlightened international regulations, standards, and certification practices to further ensure the sustainability of biomass resources.
    • Strengthening quantitative and quantitative analyses of bio-energy issues related to the sustainable development and use of biofuels, biopower, and bio-based products.


Ms. Debbie Reed, Executive Director

Ms. Reed, the Executive Director of RTE, is a consultant for national environmental and energy policy groups on agricultural mitigation strategies for state and federal global climate change policies. In her previous position as the Legislative Director at the National Environmental Trust (NET) in Washington, DC, she worked on a variety of environmental issues, including global climate change, domestic clean air policies, and energy policy. She participated in UN Climate Change negotiations in Argentina (2004), Italy (2003), India (2002), and Germany (2001) while at NET. Ms. Reed previously worked at the White House Council on Environmental Quality as the Director of Legislative Affairs and of Agricultural Policy for the Climate Change Task Force. She has graduate degrees in human nutrition and communications, and undergraduate degrees in dietetics and chemistry.

Mr. William Holmberg, Chairman

Mr. Holmberg is the Chairman of Renew the Earth as well as the Chairman of the Board at the New Uses Council and the Biomass Coordinating Council of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE). He is a U.S. Naval Academy graduate and has served in the Marine Corps. Mr. Holmberg has worked for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) where he helped pioneer the ethanol, integrated pest management, registration of biological pesticides, and organic farming programs. He also helped set up and run the Office of Alcohol Fuels at Department of Energy. Mr. Holmberg has run several associations and businesses promoting the bio-refinery concept. He has been awarded the Navy Cross, the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, the Joint Service Commendation Medal and the EPA Silver Medal. Mr. Holmberg has advanced degrees in Personnel Administration, Russian Language, Soviet Affairs, and in Amphibious and Integrated Combat Operations.

Mr. Steve Siegel, Treasurer

Mr. Steve Siegel is the vice president of the Energy and Security Group and has 30 years of private and public sector experience in defense, energy, and environmental analysis. He has directed numerous projects in defense resource management, energy security and sustainability analysis, and strategic planning. Previous to working at the Energy and Security Group, Mr. Siegel served as Chief of the Resource Analysis Division at the Center for Army Analysis and as Chief of the Information Architecture Development Branch for the Army Secretariat. Mr. Siegel is a graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

Ms. Judy Siegel, Secretary

As President of The Energy and Security Group, Ms. Siegel brings over 27 years experience in renewable energy financing, policy, and technology. She has worked in over 60 countries worldwide and has extensive experience in developing and implementing renewable energy projects and programs in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Prior positions have included: President of the US Export Council for Renewable Energy (representing over 1600 industry members); Deputy Director of the World Bank Asia Alternative Energy Program (ASTAE); and Managing Director of the Winrock International Clean Energy Group. Ms. Siegel is also active in the community serving as a Board Member of the American Council for Renewable Energy (ACORE); Chairwomen of the Market Development Committee of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE); and Member of the G8 Renewable Energy Advisory Group among others.

Mr. Tom Davis

Tom Davis, President of Tom Davis Associates, LLC an environmental consulting firm which specializes in moving the corporate and environmental communities closer together through mutual support. He is former director of EH&S External Affairs for AT&T. He serves on many boards, including Clean Beaches Council The Institute for Conservation Leadership. Additionally, Mr. Davis is Program Director for The Conference Board's Business and Sustainability annual Conference and Executive Director for the EH&S Management Roundtable.

Ms. Barbara Bramble

Barbara Bramble is the National Wildlife Federation's senior program advisor in international affairs. Prior to her current position, Barbara was director of the Federation's Alianza para la Vida Silvestre, a program designed to help develop a public constituency for environmental protection and wildlife conservation in Mexico. She also founded and directed for 16 years NWF's International Department, which concentrates on the economic and social forces which affect wildlife, habitat and the environment. In 1998 Barbara served as the U.S. representative on the tri-national team of authors, designated by the heads of the three environmental agencies of North America, to report on the operations of the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation, which was created by the NAFTA environmental side agreement.

Dr. Stephen Joseph

Stephen Joseph is the Senior Technical Advisor at Biomass Energy Services and Technology (BEST) Pty, Limited. At BEST, he works to further the development of agrichar technology, renewable energy and waste management policy formulation, and the design, appraisal and evaluation of biomass energy, biofuels, and rural technology. Previously, Dr. Joseph was the Biomass Programme Manager for ITDG UK, and the Director of the Longana Rural Industries Training Centre in Vanuatu. He has developed maintenance programme and manuals, training aids and textbooks, assisted small businesses and helped establish a number of new enterprises. Dr. Joseph has work experience in over 35 countries. He received his PhD from the Department of Architecture and Anthropology, at the University of NSW in 1988, and his BSc (Hons), Metallurgical Engineering, at the University of NSW in 1972.


Greening of the Prison System

RTE is working with the State of Nevada prison system on a bioenergy program that advances the use of fast growing trees for onsite electricity and fuel production. The program trains qualified prisoners to grow and harvest the trees, work on the roads and trails, serve as forest fighters and foresters, and contribute to communities in the area. RTE's mission is to optimize the bioenergy component of the Nevada program and work with other states to replicate the program.

The International Agrichar Initiative (IAI)

The International Agrichar Initiative, initially a program of Renew the Earth, was an informal coalition of research, commercial and policy-oriented people and organizations devoted to the sustainability of the world’s soils, and to sustainable bio-energy production. Agrichar production and utilization can renew the world’s soils through the addition of organic carbon, which can help solve the pressing problem of global climate change. The Agrichar production process also converts agricultural waste into valuable bio-fuels. The International Agrichar Initiative has now become the International Biochar Initiaive (

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