Biomass in the Clean Power Plan: More Accountability, But Still Considered "Zero-Emissions"

President Obama announced the Clean Power Plan yesterday, and naturally our first move was to check whether EPA still treats burning wood and other biomass as a zero-emissions compliance strategy.   The answer is yes – but with qualifications.  The CPP will require states that want to use bioenergy as compliance to justify their plans, and explain how emissions "reductions" from bioenergy – which emits more CO2 per megawatt-hour than coal – will be "quantifiable, verifiable, non-duplicative, permanent and enforceable" – just what one would hope for if EPA wants a legally defensible plan to control emissions.  But can wood-burning power plants ever meet this standard? 

 

Click here to download our first look memo on the CPP. 

 

Image: Biomass clearcut near Moosehead Lake, Maine.  Photo credit Jim Wallace, Massachusetts Gun Owners Action League

 

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