Massachusetts May Overlook Climate Impacts of Biofuels
by Bobby Magill (Climate Central) Massachusetts is considering a plan that would classify wood pellets and other tree products as sources of renewable energy, allowing the logging industry to contribute to the state’s climate goals to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
However, research shows that burning biomass for energy can actually make climate change worse by boosting carbon emissions, not reducing them — facts critics are using to oppose the plan.
The plan is part of proposed new rules updating the state’s standards for alternative energy, which are expected to be finalized in the coming months. If approved, the updated standards would subsidize biomass fuel and add it to the energy sources that contribute to a requirement for at least 5 percent of the state’s electricity to come from certain renewables by 2020.
But as the state continues its climate strategy to cut emissions from its power plants, it is being influenced by the logging industry, which wants biomass to be considered clean, renewable energy, according to the Boston Globe.
On its website, the Massachusetts Forest Alliance, one of the chief proponents of the biomass rules, says burning wood for electricity is carbon neutral because emissions are offset as trees used for fuel are replaced by new growth. READ MORE and MORE (Boston Globe)