News Date: 03/23/2009
Sens. John Thune (R-SD), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) have reintroduced legislation (S. 636) to change the definition of renewable biomass to more closely conform to earlier versions of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and the 2008 Farm Bill. The current RFS definition severely limits access to biomass from private forest lands.
Specifically, the bill would allow pre-commercial and post-commercial waste from national forests to be eligible feedstocks under the definition of "Renewable Biomass" in the 2007 Energy Bill and allows for waste materials to be removed from public lands which will assist in reducing fire danger. The lawmakers said that excluding slash piles and other forest waste materials from being counted toward the Renewable Fuels Standard simply makes no sense. They emphasized the legislation will allow biomass from national forests to be used in a more sustainable manner that will help improve the economy, our environment, and meet growing national energy needs. (Contact: Charlie Ingram or Amy Mann)
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