On Nov. 19, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took another step toward defining the role that biomass-based feedstocks will play in our nation's energy future by releasing a second draft of its Framework for Assessing Biogenic CO2 Emissions from Stationary Sources. The revised framework affirms the important role that agricultural and forestry derived feedstocks can play in achieving the President's clean energy and climate action plans and sets the stage for biogenic feedstocks to be incorporated into state Clean Power Plans.

While the EPA does signal that certain sustainably-derived agricultural and forest-based feedstocks may have minimal or no net contributions of biogenic carbon emissions, the ability of states and other stakeholders to evaluate and apply the proper assessment metrics will have a significant influence on determining the acceptability of a feedstock resource. Based on our preliminary review, the methodology employed in the revised Framework for Assessing Biogenic CO2 Emissions from Stationary Sources continues to embody a complexity that could limit the ability of states to utilize bioenergy solutions as part of their compliance plans. However, if the final framework allows states to focus on the carbon benefits attributable to regionally significant bioenergy feedstocks, the opportunity for biomass to serve as an emission reduction solution AND an important energy resource is immense.

25x'25 commends the Administration for recognizing the value of our nation's private farm and forestlands in producing low carbon energy and climate change solutions. We look forward to working with the EPA and other partners in crafting a final federal policy on carbon accounting for sustainable biomass feedstocks. Only with extensive stakeholder support and participation in the public comment phase that will follow, will we confidently secure this important energy resource as part of our nation's energy future and keep our nation's working lands and forests healthy and vibrant. 

For more information on this issue and to read the full revised Framework for Assessing Biogenic CO2 Emissions from Stationary Sources, please visit the EPA Office of Air and Radiation web site