Washington, D.C. – November – 2014 – Biomass Power Association applauded the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) analysis of carbon emissions from biogenic sources, released this afternoon. EPA has declared that biomass from sustainably managed, forest-‐derived sources, as well as agricultural waste, contribute no net carbon to the atmosphere. This action critically underscores the value of biomass as a renewable energy source as states begin to review their options under the Clean Power Plan.
“We sincerely thank Administrator McCarthy and her team for the timely and carefully considered carbon framework,” said Bob Cleaves, President and CEO of Biomass Power Association. “This decision gives our industry certainty as to how we will be regulated under the Clean Power Plan, and helps secure the future of the biomass industry. While we continue to study the EPA’s analysis, we are pleased to see that the EPA decisively values biomass as an indispensible renewable energy resource.”
The EPA’s strategic carbon framework has been tied up in legal challenges for several years, but the biomass industry has been eager for the final guidance. The EPA also today released a memo to states providing guidance on the inclusion of biomass as they design carbon reduction strategies under the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan announced this summer.
“Biomass is an abundant, local domestic fuel source that can also contribute to healthy forest management practices,” continued Cleaves. “Favorable regulations that encourage the growth of our industry will clearly benefit communities across the country. Energy from wood residues provides thousands of jobs and will also prove invaluable as the United States considers ways to reduce carbon in our atmosphere.”
Biomass using wood and agricultural residues will be a critical component of many states’ fossil fuel reduction plans. The National Climate Assessment 2014 noted the potential for biomass to displace up to 30% of the nation’s current U.S. petroleum consumption. As a reliable, baseload power source that generates electricity around the clock, biomass is practical and adaptable – an ideal alternative or accompaniment to fossil fuels. Support for biomass is also support for rural economies; many of the jobs generated by biomass facilities are in the heavily forested, sparsely populated areas that need jobs the most.
Biomass Power Association’s more than 40 members contribute more than 1,500 MW of locally fueled power to electric grids across the country.