EPA science advisers doubt agency’s biomass scheme

Biomass CO2-emitted plus CO2-captured is not as easy to add up as EPA had hoped.

According to the Clean Energy Report:

Members of the EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB) panel reviewing the agency’s draft framework for measuring greenhouse gases (GHGs) from biomass are signaling that they do not believe the draft plan can be amended to make it workable, raising doubts about the validity of any plan that officials may eventually adopt…

The framework is supposed to help the agency determine how to discount biogenic GHG emissions from a smokestack for permitting purposes, accounting for regrowth of the feedstock. EPA crafted a formula to determine the amount of GHGs to subtract from permits…

The agency has so far granted a three-year conditional exemption from its GHG permit requirements for facilities that burn biomass… Environmentalists have sued over the three-year waiver…

SAB panelist John Reilly of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology noted the problem was not solely attributable to EPA but also to the fact that the agency was forced to address the issue under the Clean Air Act, which he likened to being required to use a screwdriver to slice bread when “we need a knife.”

One industry source following the discussions says that EPA “may have unknowingly unleashed a monster.”

If only other areas of EPA “science” were similarly scrutinized.

3 thoughts on “EPA science advisers doubt agency’s biomass scheme”

  1. After the train wreck that was the EGGRT, I’m not terribly worried. Their programmers forced the EPA to practically rewrite 40 CFR 98 into something programmable and non-self-contradictory. The quality of said programming was still lacking, but

    It will be at least a decade before they manage to get permits rolled out, so we have time to stop it via the constitutional branches of government.

  2. Under this system of review, is any consideration given to the fossil fuel consumed transporting the biomass to the biomass power generator? It takes a lot of trucks to haul any significant number of BTU’s, given the physical nature of most biomass sources. Lots of diesel is consumed getting one ton of the stuff to the plant, and who knows how many BTU’s there are in a ton? My local authority cannot put a number on this critical parameter.

    George CPG

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