BTEC names Shaheen 2012 Biomass Thermal Champion

By Anna Simet | December 20, 2012

The Biomass Thermal Energy Council has named its Biomass Thermal Champion of 2012, and the award goes to Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., for her leadership on energy programs, mostly due to the years she has spent advocating for the inclusion and parity of biomass thermal energy for heating, cooling and combined heat and power in federal energy programs and legislation.

“Sen. Shaheen understands the immense value biomass thermal energy fuels and technologies provide to communities, businesses, and landowners,” said BTEC Executive Director Joseph Seymour. “At a time when so many families and businesses are seeking ways to cut soaring energy costs, Sen.

Shaheen has offered solutions through programs and legislation that use local renewable resources and level the playing field for incentives.”

An example of those solutions were numerous bills Sheehan introduced and cosponsored throughout the 111th and 112th sessions of Congress, according to BTEC, that called for inclusion of thermal energy from biomass in the federal tax code. Specifically, her efforts led to introduction of S. 3188, the “American Renewable Biomass Heating Act,” in 2010, that would have provided an investment tax credit to commercial and industrial biomass thermal technologies on par with wind, solar, and geothermal energy technologies.

Shaheen also ensured thermal energy was recognized and promoted via a telescoping thermal Renewable Energy Credit in the American Clean Energy Leadership Act (ACELA) introduced by Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., as well as the Clean Energy Standard, introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

Her most recent effort, according to BTEC, was successfully requesting the U.S. Energy Information Administration for inclusion of biomass fuel in its annual Winter Fuels Outlook report akin to oil, propane, and other heating fuels.