New Survey Shows Americans Don’t Support Biomass Energy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                   April 25, 2012
Contact: Mary S. Booth, PhD 
mbooth at
New Survey Shows Americans Don’t Support Biomass Energy
Concerns About Air Pollution And Water Use By Biomass Power Plants
Pelham, Mass. – Americans of all political persuasions agree that the United States should move away from its reliance on dirty energy sources that foul the air and water and toward a future that makes greater use of clean energy sources, according to a major new ORC International survey released today by the nonpartisan Civil Society Institute (CSI).
Releasing the survey jointly with dozens of other groups across the nation is the Partnership for Policy Integrity, a science-based advocacy organization that supports local, state and national groups in opposing “false energy solutions” such as biomass power plants that rely on forest harvesting for fuel.
The survey shows that more than 81% of Americans across the political spectrum believe that biomass energy should be used only after less polluting and water-intensive options are explored” said Dr. Mary Booth, Director of the Partnership for Policy Integrity. “Biomass power emits more greenhouse gases and particulate pollution than coal, and large-scale biomass power plants require about a million gallons of freshwater a day for cooling. Americans don’t want to subsidize so-called renewable energy that cuts forests, worsens air pollution, drains rivers and makes climate change worse – they want truly clean solutions”.
Civil Society Institute founder and President Pam Solo noted“This new survey is a clarion call to action: Americans think that it is time for decisive action toward a renewable energy future that will protect public health and provide reliable and cost effective energy. And it is only through a grassroots-driven process that we can shake off the gridlock of Washington, D.C., so that Americans can focus on what is really important to them: a clean energy future that does not sacrifice our water, air and health.”
Key findings of the new ORC International survey, conducted March 22 – 25, include:
·         A majority of Americans (81%) think the other energy producing options should be explored first before biomass energy production is explored. Only fourteen percent are in favor of proceeding with biomass energy production before other options are explored.    
·         Two thirds of Americans (67 percent) think that “political leaders should help to steer the U.S. to greater use of cleaner energy sources – such as increased efficiency, wind and solar – that result in fewer environmental and health damages.”   Less than a third of Americans (30 percent) think that “political leaders should stay out of the energy markets and let private enterprise have a free hand in picking energy sources and setting prices.”
·         Eight out of 10 Americans agree that “water shortages and the availability of clean drinking water are real concerns. America should put the emphasis on first developing new energy sources that require less water and result in lower water pollution. “Only 15 percent of Americans think that “America should proceed first with developing energy sources even if they may have significant water pollution and water shortage downsides.”
For the full survey findings and methodology, go to
A factsheet on biomass power impacts can be viewed at
EDITOR’S NOTE: A streaming audio replay of the news event will also available on the Web at as of 5 p.m. EDT on April 25, 2012.

Partnership for Policy Integrity