Scientists, advocates spar over role of biomass energy in climate change policies

By Robert Walton, Utility Dive.

Dive Brief:

  • The Washington Post reports that appropriations bills for fiscal year 2017 being considered in the U.S. House and Senate could direct the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to consider biomass energy as carbon neutral, over the objections of some scientists who say it is no so clear-cut a distinction.
  • While forests do store carbon over time, some scientists say their ability to act as a carbon sink takes place over years—while burning trees for energy releases the carbon all at once.
  • Earlier this year, the Senate included a biomass amendment when it passed the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016, directing the Environmental Protection Agency to develop policies considering biomass to be carbon neutral.