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Wyden to fight "dumb regulations" on biomass


Jeff Mapes reports on U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden’s beef with federal rules on biomass, which Wyden says unfairly paint wood-burning biomass as a conventional energy source, rather than a clean one. His comments were delivered at the Oregon Business Summit in Portland yesterday:

The Oregon Democrat said he would fight “dumb regulations” from the administration that treats the emerging industry as just another conventional fuel that causes additional greenhouse gas emissions.

“It’s bad science, it’s bad energy policy, it’s bad for job creation and as chairman of the forest subcommittee I won’t let it happen,” he said.

Here’s a summary of the rules Wyden is referring to, as well as concern over them from Washington’s Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen, as he wrote in the Tacoma News Tribune:

“Suddenly, woody biomass has found its way into a national policy debate. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is set to implement a rule that will derail both the use of an important renewable energy source as well as economic recovery.

In January, the EPA will begin regulating renewable forest biomass energy under the Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule, requiring biomass energy producers to purchase costly pollution permits just like coal-fired plants. While the rule has good intentions – to lower emissions of greenhouse gases – it is a sharp departure from long-held science and policy. It means that the EPA will no longer consider biomass a carbon-neutral source of energy.”

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