Letter to the Editor: Biomass-based energy vital to Maryland RPS

May 10, 2013

  Letter to the Editor: Biomass-based energy vital to Maryland RPS
  By: Donna Harman, President & CEO, American Forest & Paper Association
  March 1, 2013 

   Dear Editor:

   The Post’s Feb. 22 story (“Md., DC Utilities Pay Paper Mills Burning ‘Black Liquor’
   For Alternative Fuel Credits”) leaned heavily on inaccurate and misleading
   statements from the Chesapeake Climate Action Network and missed the real issue of increasing energy costs to Marylanders.  By discriminating against biomass, the market for Renewable Energy Credits would dismiss an important and cost-effective energy source.

Biomass plays an important role in our country’s renewable energy portfolio.  Energy produced in forest products mills from wood residues is widely recognized as carbon neutral around the world, and rightly so.  Trees absorb CO2 and release it again upon natural decay.  By including these residues as a fuel, we capture the energy value, displace fossil fuels in the process, and complete the recycling loop. 

The forest products industry, like other sectors of our economy, is making large investments in highly efficient biomass energy that meets stringent environmental standards.  Our nation’s renewable energy future demands low-cost baseload energy, and the forest products industry can be a key part of the solution.

Discriminating against low-cost biomass energy is short-sighted and costly to both employers and consumers.

Donna Harman
President & CEO
American Forest & Paper Association