Obama’s Clean Power Plan Needs to Acknowledge The Carbon Benefits of Biomass Energy

Calforests calls on Congress to bring clarity to the new rule

For Immediate Release

Thursday, August 6, 2015


(Sacramento) – On Monday, August 3, President Obama unveiled the Clean Power Plan (CPP) ‑‑ a sweeping new environmental rule limiting greenhouse gas emissions.  Unfortunately, the CPP adds confusion and uncertainty around the carbon benefits of biomass when it comes to the woodmasspileissue of carbon neutrality.  Today, the California Forestry Association (Calforests) calls on Congress to provide a clear and simple policy on biomass neutrality to provide the certainty and clarity needed by the biomass industry to continue investing in clean, renewable energy production.

“California forests provide a great deal of environmental benefits, including that of providing clean, renewable energy from forestry biomass,” said David Bischel, president of Calforests. “For the industry to continue investing in biomass production, we need the administration to recognize the well-established science showing that forest biomass is carbon neutral.  It’s important that we recognize the role that biomass can play in reducing greenhouse gases.”

Unlike fossil fuels, biomass energy from wood residues is renewable and sustainable. Furthermore, use of wood residues to generate heat, power and biofuels is well documented — showing substantial environmental benefits including but not limited to: 1) reduced pollutants when compared to burning it in the open; 2) improving overall forest health, thereby reducing the risk of wildfire, insect infestation and disease; 3) and, avoid impacts on limited landfill space.

Calforests works to keep forests, wildlife, water and air healthy, beautiful and productive. In the past decade the state has seen increased destruction from catastrophic wildfires, and scientists predict the situation will only become worse.  In California, millions of forested acres on our national forests are at risk of catastrophic wildfire from drought, insect damage and disease.

The science on carbon neutrality of forest biomass is extensive.  Without policy certainty and clarity, existing and future investment in biomass heat, power and biofuels is in jeopardy.

Calforests hopes the administration and Congress can improve the CPP to bring clarity and certainty around biomass and affirm the carbon benefits of biomass in federal policy.


The California Forestry Association (Calforests) is a non-profit trade association representing California’s forest products profession. We are dedicated to ensuring an adequate and sustainable supply of forest products at an affordable cost while enhancing forest health and safety.