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See You in Seattle

In case you haven't seen it on our website or read about in Biomass Power & Thermal, BBI International is holding a regional biomass event in Seattle Jan. 10-12.
By Rona Johnson | January 07, 2011

See You in Seattle

In case you haven't seen it on our website or read about in Biomass Power & Thermal, BBI International is holding a regional biomass event in Seattle Jan. 10-12. The Pacific West Biomass Conference & Trade Show should be an exciting event, especially as the U.S. EPA and the federal government have made some moves that are favorable to the industry.

When we attended the Southeast Biomass Conference & Trade Show in November in Atlanta everyone was concerned about the EPA’s boiler Maximum Achievable Control Technology rules. Speakers at the conference also warned of the impending start-of-construction deadline for the Section 1603 cash grant in lieu of tax credit program.

The EPA has since asked for a 15-month extension to rework the boiler MACT rule and the start-of-construction deadline has been extended for a year.

Concerns regarding the EPA’s Tailoring Rule are still casting a pall over the industry. The agency has issued guidance for the Tailoring Rule that indicates it may be taking a different look at the carbon benefits of using forest biomass for bioenergy, and several lawmakers have expressed their concern over the rule. There is still confusion and I think everyone in the industry would breathe a huge sigh of relief if the EPA would just recognize woody biomass as carbon neutral and change the Tailoring Rule to reflect that.

As always, I’m optimistic that the EPA won’t do anything to jeopardize job creation in this country and that Congress will recognize that the biomass industry is fertile ground for creating new jobs and revitalizing some sagging industries.

All these topics and many others will be touched on during the conference, which will feature plenary panels on bioenergy education opportunities and waste-to-energy development in the Pacific West.

Conference goers who are not familiar with the biomass potential in the Pacific West can read about the abundant resources in the region in the January issue of Biomass Power & Thermal, which will be available at the conference.

In other biomass news:

The Biomass Crop Assistance was spared when lawmakers passed a continuing resolution to fund the federal government, but that just means the budget battle will resume in March. Congress has to act to fund BCAP for the rest of 2011 and 2012. Then in 2012 a new Farm Bill must be authorized, which may or may not include the BCAP program. I would suggest that supporters of this program contact their representatives in Washington and let them know how important it is to the renewable energy industry.  

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