By Linda Tsang
Director, Climate and Air Quality
States face an enormous task in developing implementation plans to comply with EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) which requires states to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants. States need to examine all possible options to comply with the CPP as well as minimize electricity costs and maintain reliability for consumers.
Last week, EPA announced that will host a workshop early next year to discuss how states can use biomass energy in implementing the CPP in their states. As EPA and other governments around the world have long recognized, burning biomass for energy recovery is different than burning fossil fuel. Biomass combustion is one part of the continuous cycling of carbon between the atmosphere and biomass stocks via photosynthesis. Unlike the biomass carbon cycle, carbon from fossil fuels will not be removed from the atmosphere in the near future through regeneration of the fossil fuel. Because of these climate benefits, EPA has expressly included bioenergy as an option for states and utilities in CPP compliance. Sustainable biomass energy should be part of the solution that helps states comply with the Clean Power Plan.