HB 2440 – biomass and carbon

Update – A hearing on HB 2440 was held on April 18. The Sierra Club testified against the bill, while the timber industry group behind the legislation was unwilling to defend the bill’s merits. It died without further action, though we can expect similar legislation to appear in future sessions.

HB 2440 – This bill would declare air emissions from burning biomass to be ‘carbon neutral emissions’ regardless of the source of the biomass materials. It would further exempt biomass energy facilities from greenhouse gas emissions permitting and even basic reporting on the volume of carbon emissions they release each year. It is generally well understood that burning biomass does in fact release carbon dioxide, and that different sources of biomass have different carbon impacts. In reality, energy produced from burning wood that is a byproduct the type of logging operations common in Oregon would take many decades to be considered ‘carbon neutral.’ If biomass is derived from logging old growth forests, ‘carbon neutrality’ may not be attained for centuries. Sierra Club position: oppose

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One Response to HB 2440 – biomass and carbon

  1. [...] Unfortunately, there are far more environmental threats moving forward than good pro-environment legislation. By the end of the week of April 18, the Oregon House will have potentially passed legislation to make it easier to shoot Oregon’s wolves, make timber production the primary purpose of our state lands, and rollback of voter-approved protections for cougars. Other bills getting hearings include an effort to restrict the Department of Environmental Quality from implementing new water quality standards meant to protect public health, and legislation that would declare biomass energy to be ‘carbon neutral’ while exempting biomass energy producers f…. [...]

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