An amendment to the Energy Policy Modernization Act to support forests role in helping to meet U.S. energy needs has been introduced to Congress by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), who is seeking bipartisan support.
The Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would be required to come together to make federal policy relating to forest bioenergy consistent.
“Biomass energy is sustainable, responsible, renewable and economically significant as an energy source,” Sen. Collins said from the Senate floor. “Federal policies across all departments and agencies must remove any uncertainties and contradictions through a clear policy that forest bioenergy is part — an essential part — of our nation’s energy future.”
Policies must be established concerning the utilization of biomass as an energy solution. Included in this part of the amendment are policies that reflect the carbon neutrality of forest bioenergy; recognize biomass as a renewable energy source; encourage private investment throughout the biomass supply chain; encourage forest management to improve forest health; and recognize state initiatives to use biomass.
Democrats co-sponsoring the amendment include Minnesotans Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, as are Republicans Steve Daines of Montana and Mike Crapo and James Risch of Idaho. Angus King (I-ME) is also a sponsor.