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Climate Change Bill Crawling Through Committee Review

A ground-breaking climate change bill in Congress is moving toward some procedural hurdles. April Baer reports that some provisions important to the Northwest hang in the balance.

The bill's moving through committee review —that means intense horsetrading.  Some of the Northwest's house members are trying to ensure the bill includes an important definition.

They want woody biomass classified as a renewable energy resource.  That would mean that's dead trees found on federal land could be burned to produce power.

Congressman Brian Baird represents southwest Washington.

Brian Baird: "But the bill still contains language that would make it very very difficult to use productively wood from the federal forests for the purpose of renewable energy, and we think that's a mistake."

Baird says he's joined forces with Republican Greg Walden, and Democrat Kurt Schrader — both from Oregon — promising not to vote for the climate change bill if the biomass provision gets axed.

Some environmental groups have questioned whether woody biomass is truly renewable, or a giveaway to industries that might profit from biomass burning.