Biomass and Renewable Energy

Alternative energy plant

State Foresters view forests as a strategic national resource of vital importance to meeting the nation’s economic, environmental, and energy needs. Biomass from the nation’s public and private forests can and must be part of any solution to meeting the nation’s renewable energy goals, particularly in regions where solar, wind, and other renewable resources are less prevalent.

As natural resource professionals and directors of forestry agencies in all U.S. states and territories, State Foresters have a special responsibility and commitment to ensuring the sustainability of the forest resource. NASF members approved the policy statement, "Forest Biomass Supply, Sustainability and Carbon Policy," by resolution in September 2010 to inform, demonstrate and justify the important and strategic role the nation's forests can play in meeting national goals for renewable energy and fuels development. 

Meeting the nation's renewable energy goals will require significant contributions from all renewable energy sources including wind, solar, biomass and other renewables from all regions of the country. Burning wood, plants and other organic material already constitutes 50 percent of all renewable energy produced in the United States, yet biomass-particularly from the nation's forests-can contribute significantly more. It is essential for Congress and the Administration to demonstrate their commitment to domestic energy production, job creation, and national security by sending clear signals regarding the significant role forest biomass can play in meeting the nation's renewable energy goals.

Biomass and Air Quality
NASF supports the action taken by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to defer (for three years) the regulation of biomass greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to provide guidance to states identifying biomass as Best Available Control Technology (BACT). The complexity of accounting for the net atmospheric impact of biogenic CO2 emissions warrants careful consideration by EPA alongside the USDA Forest Service, state forestry agencies, technical experts and scientists.