Senator Collins Pro-Biomass Amendment Ignores Science

I am an individual who spends every day investigating the biomass industry’s practices and speaking directly with impacted communities. It is infuriating when out-of-touch politicians and short-sighted government agencies push forward their corporate-driven agenda over community and environmental solutions. This agenda completely disregards the prevailing sentiment of unbiased experts, scientists and front-line communities. They subvert the sometimes difficult, but always rewarding path that we must walk to achieve an economy built on justice and respect for all living beings.

Two weeks ago Senator Susan Collins from Maine sponsored an amendment to the “Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015”. A US Senate committee approved it for an upcoming vote by the whole chamber. The amendment claims the “carbon neutrality” of biomass (forests being burned for electricity). This amendment is essentially a boondoggle that is a giveaway to an antiquated and destructive industry.

Dogwood Alliance is completely opposed to this amendment.

We should be embracing a clean energy transition from fossil fuels that protects the health of our forests and communities rather than incentivizing their degradation.

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. Instead of the short-sighted approach of burning our forests for energy, Senators should be promoting the conservation and restoration of our forests because they are our best defense against climate change, provide clean drinking water to millions of Americans and provide habitat for wildlife.

In the past several years, we have seen a similar error in European policy that continues to drive massive clearcuts of precious forests in the Southern US. As Europe has now recognized this mistake (we’ve made sure of that!) and is working to address the problem, the last thing our communities and forests need is for our government to repeat that same mistake.

Dogwood Alliance envisions a future where forests are valued for the irreplaceable services they provide, maintaining life as we know it.

We imagine a future where local communities and forest landowners are adequately incentivized to keep forests standing, where the health and future of our children are placed above quarterly profits for corporations.

If we allow our government to legislate away science and claim “carbon neutrality” for forest biomass, opening up the floodgates for burning forests for energy, then we’re taking a serious step backwards.

Don’t let that happen. Write your Senator, talk to your neighbor, get involved. Our Forests are truly Our Strength.


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