Obama Administration Postpones EPA Decision on Biomass Emissions Until After 2012 Elections
FLA learned on January 11, that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would announce on the 12th that the use of biomass will be exempt from the Obama Administration's new greenhouse gas regulations for three years. The EPA says the delay will give the agency more time to address concerns that permitting requirements could chill investment in an emerging renewable energy marketplace. No doubt it also gives the Obama Administration breathing room on the issue, until after the next election cycle.
The decision responds to criticism from the biomass industry, which has claimed that the energy source is not contributing to climate change because it is part of a natural, carbon-neutral cycle. Under pressure from some members of Congress, the EPA is easing up on regulating global warming pollution from facilities that burn biomass for energy.
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson on Wednesday the 12th notified members of Congress who complained that new rules regulating industrial carbon dioxide emissions would make it hard to develop new biomass energy plants that burn trees and branches thinned out of forests. The EPA's decision excludes biomass from a rule requiring large polluters to reduce their heat-trapping pollution.