– by Erin Voegele, August 21, 2018, Biomass Magazine
Photo: Biomass Magazine
On Aug. 21, the U.S. EPA released a proposed rule to create the Affordable Clean Energy program, which aims to establish emissions guidelines for states to develop plans to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from existing coal-fired power plants. The ACE rule would replace the Clean Power Plan, which the EPA proposed to repeal last year.
The CPP was first proposed by the EPA in June 2014 under the Obama administration. Final rules for the program were released in August 2015. In March 2017, an executive order signed by President Trump ordered a review of the program. A few months later, in October 2017, the EPA issued a proposed rulemaking to repeal the CPP.
– by Janet McCabe, Environmental Protection Agency, July 14, 2016, Wall Street Journal
Bruce E. Dale’s July 11 op-ed “Old MacDonald Had a . . . Climate Offender” paints a picture of the Clean Power Plan—and the underlying science—that is far from reality.
First, EPA’s Clean Power Plan, which is stayed while legal challenges proceed, applies to power plants, not farms. Under the program, states determine their own strategies for cutting carbon emissions from power plants, including the opportunity to use qualified biomass in place of fossil fuels. The agency recognizes that a wide range of agricultural and forest biomass can provide carbon benefits, including controlling atmospheric carbon-dioxide levels. Contrary to Mr. Dale’s claim that this program creates an “unjustified carbon tax,” it actually creates a market for biomass and an economic opportunity for American farmers.
– by Erin Voegele, February 16, 2016, Biomass Magazine
Photo: Biomass Magazine
On Feb. 11, the House Committee on Agriculture held a hearing on U.S. EPA policies that impact the rural economy. The renewable fuel standard (RFS) and Clean Power Plan were among the programs discussed during the nearly three-hour event.
In her testimony, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said that the agency has taken steps to improve implementation of the RFS and continues to approve new agricultural feedstocks, increasing the number of pathways that biofuel producers may use to qualify their biofuel under the program. “We improved the quality, transparency, and efficiency of our petition review process for new biofuel pathways, clarified qualifying biofuels, and conducted lifecycle analyses on several new feedstocks,” she said. “The EPA remains committed to the RFS program and meeting Congress’s intent to responsibly grow renewable fuels over time.”