Posted by: James Maloy | July 7, 2010

An end to commercial biomass electric power plants in Massachusetts



July 7, 2010
Contact: Meg Sheehan, Chair, Stop Spewing Carbon Campaign
tel. 508-259-9154
Massachusetts Anti-Biomass Ballot Question The Stop Spewing Carbon Ballot Campaign announced today a major victory in the fight against biomass incinerators promoted as “clean energy” and as a result will not put its question on the statewide ballot for November 2010.

“Today Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Ian Bowles issued a letter saying his agency will change our state laws to bring them in line with current science and public policy requiring biomass incinerators to meet strict standards for forest protection, greenhouse gas emissions, and efficiency,” said Meg Sheehan, Chair of the Stop Spewing Carbon Ballot Campaign. “This is a groundbreaking development that means an end to commercial biomass electric power plants in Massachusetts.

Science confirms that the greenhouse gas emissions of burning forests are worse than coal and there’s no reason to subsidize this form of energy,” Sheehan said. Secretary Bowles’ letter says that to meet greenhouse targets the state should change “the incentives we provide biomass energy under the Renewable Portfolio Standard.” The Stop Spewing Campaign collected over 120,000 signatures from Massachusetts’ voters to end biomass subsidies. Sheehan said, “this sent a clear message to Governor Patrick. Ending renewable energy credits for dirty incinerators was the central goal of our ballot question and we have won.”

The state also announced that construction and demolition debris incinerators will not get renewable energy credits, another victory for the Campaign. “Our coalition of social justice, public health, environmental, forestry advocates and fiscal watchdogs have won a victory for the citizens of Massachusetts, the nation, and indeed the planet,” Sheehan said. “Citizens have let government officials know they don’t want their taxpayer and ratepayer money spent on these toxic incinerators disguised as “clean energy.”

“We will continue to work to prevent air pollution impacts from potential smaller biomass projects and for a state wide ban on construction and demolition debris burning. We also intend to pressure the administration to tighten the biomass regulations even further than what was put forth today to prevent all destructive bio-energy schemes and false solutions to climate change. We will want to make sure that so called “clean energy” projects don’t pollute the air, the water, and destroy our forests,” said Sheehan.

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