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AF&PA applauds EPA step on carbon neutrality of biomass energy produced by forest products industry

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AF&PA applauds EPA step on carbon neutrality of biomass energy produced by forest products industry

January 14, 2011 - 08:15
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WASHINGTON, DC, Jan. 12, 2011 (Press Release) -American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Donna Harman today issued the following statement regarding EPA's decision to delay regulation of CO2 emissions from biomass under the Clean Air Act pending further study.

"AF&PA applauds EPA's decision to exclude emissions from biomass combustion from greenhouse gas regulations for three years and to carefully review the science to resolve this issue in a reasonable and technically sound manner.

"Treating biomass emissions like fossil fuel threatens beneficial investments in biomass energy upgrades at paper and wood products mills throughout the country. The forest products industry is the leading producer and user of carbon-neutral, renewable biomass energy. Paper and wood products mills generate two-thirds of their energy on average from renewable, carbon-neutral biomass. Studies have shown that using wood biomass to produce forest products and the associated renewable energy sustains nine times more jobs than stand-alone energy production. These are high paying, family-wage jobs that are critical for the rural communities where our mills are located.

"AF&PA strongly advocated for EPA to reaffirm its own precedent and the internationally-recognized carbon neutrality of biomass when EPA issued the Tailoring and Tailpipe Rules regulating greenhouse gas emissions. Today's action is a critical first step to address our concerns. We appreciate that EPA, USDA and other leaders in the Administration heard our concerns. We also appreciate the strong support we received from Congress and other political leaders at the State and local level. We encourage EPA and USDA to continue to work closely together on sound national policy for biomass and renewable energy going forward, and we stand ready to continue working with EPA through the process."