EPA Provides Welcome Guidance

Hats off to EPA for clarifying the role of bioenergy sources in our low-carbon energy future.  In guidance released yesterday, the EPA clearly identified the important role for bioenergy markets to create new jobs, restore rural communities and help achieve GHG reduction goals.

Equally important, the EPA affirms that not all biomass can be considered “carbon neutral” and that some forms of biomass will actually increase GHG emissions when compared with fossil fuels.  A recent Q&A in the New York Times expands on the complexities of bioenergy carbon accounting, including the role of time, geography, feedstock type, and utilization technology.

In releasing the guidance, EPA announced an open and flexible process to work with state and federal stakeholders to identifying which types of biomass can best reduce GHG emissions in the near term when compared with fossil fuels (such as wood waste and agricultural residues) and at the same time create efficient solutions to account for possible bioenergy induced shifts in landscape carbon storage and sequestration. We applaud EPA for taking the time now to ensure bioenergy markets create a sustained economic opportunity for the next generation of farmers, ranchers and forest owners.

EPA’s guidance provides a very measured and appropriate response that is based on science, will help us reduce GHG pollution and clarifies that bioenergy can be part of the solution.  The policy will send a clear signal for bioenergy markets to reward low-carbon forms of bioenergy while discouraging the use of biomass that increase GHG emissions in the near term.

We agree with Secretary Vilsack that with this guidance, EPA took another positive step toward getting the carbon accounting right for bioenergy markets.

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One Comment

  1. Posted November 13, 2010 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    Useful info. I also found something similar and Interesting yesterday.