ACTION TIMELINE

July 27, 2010 – The Center filed a petition urging the Environmental Protection Agency to correct scientifically erroneous statements in its annual greenhouse gas inventory regarding the supposed “carbon neutrality” of biomass power plants. The EPA officially denied the petition, but it removed the statements from the next annual inventory — and those statements have never reappeared.

August 15, 2011 – The Center and allies filed a lawsuit challenging an EPA rule exempting large-scale biomass-burning facilities from carbon dioxide limits under the Clean Air Act for the next three years.  

July 12, 2013 – A key federal court ruling in a suit by the Center and allies confirmed that Clean Air Act limits on carbon dioxide pollution apply to industrial facilities that burn biomass, including tree-burning power plants. The court overturned the EPA’s three-year exemption for “biogenic carbon dioxide.”

August 22, 2014 – The Center filed a lawsuit challenging a Clean Air Act permit issued by the EPA for a massive, 31-megawatt biomass power plant proposed by Sierra Pacific Industries in Anderson, Calif.

June 23, 2015 – Fourteen conservation groups, including the Center, urged the White House to eliminate biomass energy as a means of compliance under the EPA's “Clean Power Plan,” meant to regulate carbon pollution from power plants. In a letter to the Office of Management and Budget, our coalition pointed out that the EPA had not identified any scientifically rational basis for treating biomass energy as a means of emissions reduction under the Clean Air Act.

January 21, 2016 – The Center submitted formal comments challenging the EPA’s legal authority to recognize biomass energy generation as an emissions reduction method under proposed regulations implementing the Clean Power Plan.

February 10, 2016 – More than 110 groups from across the globe, including the Center, joined a declaration demanding that bioenergy be excluded from the European Union’s next Renewable Energy Directive, meant to determine Europe’s path forward on meeting its carbon emissions reductions targets following the Paris agreement signed in December 2015.

Clearcut photo courtesy Flickr/thekirbster