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FLA Confronts Washington on Wood's Carbon Neutrality
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2009 Issues


FLA Confronts Washington on Wood's Carbon Neutrality

September 22, 2010

On September 3, FLA CEO Scott Jones visited with Lisa McCarthy, the EPA's Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation, to discuss wood as carbon neutral. On September 7, Jones also visited with USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to discuss this carbon neutrality.

When biomass, such as wood, is combusted for energy, it releases back into the atmosphere carbon dioxide (CO2) that the trees had absorbed during their growth. Thus, CO2 emissions from biomass combustion are assigned an emissions factor of zero. However, the EPA’s final rule determining which power sources will be subject to greenhouse gas permitting requirements does not exempt biomass (wood) power, a decision that has raised concern in the biomass industry.

The Forest Landowners Association (FLA) has added its support to an effort by Senators Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) to express their concerns to Lisa Jackson, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), about the agency’s decision to regulate biomass emissions in the same manner and degree as fossil fuel emissions; a decision called "the Tailoring Rule." During the 2010 National Forest Landowners Advocacy Day last week, participants asked their delegates to join their colleagues who are sending a strong message to the EPA that Congress does not intend to stand idly by and allow the agency to misinterpret their intentions to see wood as a vital part of one of America’s renewable energy sources.

To learn more about these issues, or others affecting private forest landowners, please contact Frank Stewart at or (703) 549-0347.





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