EPA eases up on biomass over global warming

From The Associated Press, Wednesday, January 12, 2011:

Under pressure from some members of Congress, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is easing up on regulating global warming pollution from facilities that burn biomass for energy.

The agency says it needs more time to figure out whether biomass is a green fuel.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson on Wednesday notified members of Congress who complained that new rules regulating industrial carbon dioxide emissions would make it hard to develop new biomass energy plants that burn trees and branches thinned out of forests.

Developing biomass energy is part of Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber’s plan for putting people back to work by thinning forests at high danger of wildfire.

The EPA’s decision excludes biomass from a rule requiring large polluters to reduce their heat-trapping pollution.