[Read the opposing view to this opinion piece, “Renewability: Biomass Energy Not Renewable,” by Christopher Ahlers.]
– by Roger A. Sedjo, Senior Fellow, Resources for the Future & Stephen Shaler, Director, School of Forest Resources, University of Maine
In a rare moment of bipartisan cooperation, the Senate just passed a far-ranging energy bill. Critics have quickly homed in on a unanimously adopted amendment recognizing the renewability and carbon benefits of biomass energy derived from wood and plant material. That designation puts biomass in the same category as wind, solar, and other renewables in the eyes of federal officials.
Critics claim lawmakers have gotten out in front of the science and that there’s not enough evidence to definitively prove biomass’s environmental benefits. They’re wrong. Science recognizes biomass is a well-established way to reduce greenhouse gas pollution. Supporting biomass energy provides one more important strategy for fighting global climate change.
The Senate should be applauded. And the final compromise legislation with the House should preserve these amendments.