Clean Power Plan/Biomass
On Tuesday, the EPA proposed its long-awaited replacement for the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan. The proposed rule, known as the Affordable Clean Energy Rule or ACE, is much more lenient on the electric utility sector, essentially imposing energy efficiency requirements on coal-fired utilities. The rule takes a state-based approach in which states will develop and submit to EPA technology-based plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing coal-fired power plants. States would have full authority and flexibility in determining the actual emissions limits. The rule can be found here.
For our sector, we have been engaged in the Clean Power Plan debate on the issue of biomass as a potential compliance option for utilities as well as recognition of the carbon neutrality of biomass fuels and energy. The proposed ACE rule, unfortunately, does not include biomass as part of the Best System of Emissions Reduction (BSER) for utilities, claiming that biomass is more expensive than other control measures. However, the proposal does recognize that utilities may be interested in cofiring biomass to help meet emissions limits and allows for that option. And equally, if not more important, the rule reaffirms EPA’s commitment to recognizing the carbon neutrality of forest-based biomass. Specifically, the rule states “EPA’s policy is to treat biogenic CO2 emissions resulting from the combustion of biomass from managed forests at stationary sources for energy production as carbon neutral.” The discussion around biomass can be found on pages 74-76.
For additional information on the rule, please click here.
Just a quick reminder to keep reaching out to your Member of Congress to cosponsor the AG and Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 6417). We continue to build the cosponsor list while the House is in recess during the month of August. It is critical that we enlist as many cosponsors to the bill as we can to show House leadership that we have the votes to pass the legislation through the lower chamber. Thanks to those of you that have already communicated to your elected officials about the importance of enacting this bill. It really does make a difference for Members of Congress to hear directly from employers in their districts.
Key states that have Working Forest Caucus Members not supporting legislation include those below (italicized=D). If you have operations in these states, please reach out to these House members.