From: The Honorable Ann M. Kuster
Sent By: travis.krogman@mail.house.gov
Date: 6/2/2015

Current Co-signers: Kuster, Westerman, Garamendi, Benishek, Welch
Dear Colleagues:
Biomass power is an important part of electricity generation in the United States. A carbon neutral fuel source, biomass offers significant environmental benefits as well as the benefit of creating and sustaining good jobs right in our communities.
Biomass power is generated from renewable organic waste that would otherwise be dumped in landfills, openly burned, or left as fodder for forest fires. The organic waste can include scrap lumber, forest debris, agricultural harvest waste, and other industry byproducts that serve no other purpose. These natural materials generate clean, renewable electricity while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
However, we are concerned about ambiguity surrounding how biomass power will be treated under the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan and other proposed emissions standards. We believe that additional clarity from the EPA will provide needed certainty for the biomass power industry and the thousands of jobs is supports. Please join us in sending a letter to the EPA requesting that they provide clarity regarding the treatment of this renewable resource.
The text of our letter can be found below, and the deadline to sign on is Friday, June 12, 2015. To sign on to the letter, please email Travis Krogman with Rep. Kuster at travis.krogman@mail.house.gov.
Sincerely,

Ann McLane Kuster Bruce Westerman
Member of Congress Member of Congress

June XX, 2015
The Honorable Gina McCarthy
Administrator,
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460

Dear Administrator McCarthy:
We write today to express our support for the role that biomass power plays in our Nation’s energy supply, and to request that EPA take action to remove regulatory ambiguities in the treatment of utility-scale biomass power as a renewable resource. Biomass is a renewable form of energy that provides jobs for our rural communities, promotes healthy forests, and offers an environmental solution for organic material that would otherwise be landfilled, left to decay in the forest or on farm fields, or simply burned. Converting these low-value materials to electricity is a win for the environment and our economy.
The primary source of biomass feedstock for electricity comes from “low-value” wood and agricultural residues. While biomass varies by region, all biomass fuels for electricity share a common trait, namely, a material that has no higher value use in the marketplace. Biomass feedstocks for electricity are not generally “grown” or “harvested” for energy, but are a by-product of non-energy uses. Whether from forests (tops, limbs, thinnings), farms (rice hulls, bagasse, orchard prunings) or the urban environment (pallets, railroad ties and other forms of “waste wood”), biomass power’s use of these materials should be encouraged for producing electricity.
While EPA has been generally supportive of biomass power in recent documents, how the agency intends to treat biomass power continues to be ambiguous at best. We request that EPA move quickly to clarify the extent to which these facilities will be covered by proposed carbon emission rules. Providing this regulatory certainty, including through full or partial exemption from these rules, could promote a diverse energy portfolio and contribute to healthy forests, farms, and rural communities.
Thank you for your timely consideration of our request. We look forward to your response and to continuing to work with you in service of the American people.
Sincerely,