Massachusetts ratepayers pay for these programs through a surcharge on their utility bills intended to promote clean energy and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Massachusetts was the first state in the nation to adopt science-based standards for biomass energy in its RPS, and as a result, most of the state’s renewable energy portfolio is wind and solar power.
Now the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has proposed to gut the standards for biomass energy in the state’s RPS. DOER will be holding three public hearings and accepting public comments on the proposed rule change through May 24, 2019. For more information and a schedule of the hearing dates, visit www.pfpi.net/ma-bioenergy-backgrounder.
If Governor Baker’s efforts to increase subsidies and weaken standards for biomass energy succeed, we will see a significant expansion of polluting wood-burning power plants and furnaces in Massachusetts and surrounding states that will:
- Worsen air pollution problems in our already overburdened communities- Emit more carbon into the atmosphere than fossil fuels- Increase logging pressures on Massachusetts’ forests- Disproportionately impact environmental justice communities
This is exactly the opposite type of climate leadership we need at this time. International climate scientists have told policymakers that to limit catastrophic climate change, we must not only dramatically decrease CO2 emissions over the next ten years but also achieve “negative” CO2 emissions by increasing carbon sinks, primarily forests.
The Baker Administration’s recent spate of policies to encourage more woody biomass combustion is undermining the foundations of science and further preferentially favoring this technology at the expense of clean renewable energy technologies that actually help to reduce emissions.
*For more information about these programs visit www.pfpi.net/ma-bioenergy-backgrounder.
We, the undersigned residents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, call upon the Baker Administration to eliminate all clean energy subsidies for wood-burning and waste incineration and put that money to work for truly clean energy and forest protection.