Senator Collins’ Biomass Amendment Transforms Burning Forests to a Carbon Neutral Fuel Source
Asheville, NC – In early February, U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R – ME), introduced an amendment to the Energy Modernization Act of 2015 (S. 2012) that declares the carbon neutrality of all forest bioenergy and recognizes biomass as a renewable energy source. This amendment was passed by a voice vote without discussion.
With one wave of her magic pen, the Senator swept aside the prevailing scientific viewpoint that burning forests for electricity is a carbon intensive fuel that in many cases releases more emissions than coal. Despite the fact that various institutions and regulatory agencies have urged caution in moving forward with the use of wood for electricity, in an attempted giveaway to the wood pellet and forest products industry, the amendment was pushed through.
“Senator Collins’ amendment completely fails in its attempt to support the key role that forests can play in addressing the energy needs of the United States,” said Adam Macon, Campaign Director at Dogwood Alliance. “Instead of the short-sighted approach of burning our forests for energy, our government should be promoting the conservation and restoration of forests because they are our best defense against climate change, provide clean drinking water to millions of Americans, and serve as vital habitat for wildlife.”
The Energy Modernization Act of 2015 was stalled in the Senate while Republicans and Democrats wrangled over a Democrat proposed amendment for emergency funding for Flint. The legislation may hit the Senate floor for full debate as early as Thursday, March 25th.
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The editorial cartoon was commissioned by the Dogwood Alliance and created by David Cohen has been the editorial cartoonist for the Asheville (NC) Citizen Times since 2006, and has been involved with many other publications over the years. His Facebook cartoon page is www.facebook.com/Cohencidents.