PFPI Applauds Senate Action to End Woody Biomass Subsidies in MA

Today, the Partnership for Policy Integrity (PFPI), which has been working with over 100 Massachusetts groups to oppose subsidies to the biomass industry, issued the following statement praising the Senate’s passage of S.2819, An Act driving climate policy forward:

“Facing the growing climate crisis, Massachusetts simply cannot afford to prop up polluting industries like biomass energy,” said Laura Haight, US Policy Director for PFPI. “Today, the Senate has embraced the public’s call to stop handouts to polluters and to set us on the path to a clean and healthy energy future. We applaud TUE Chair Mike Barrett for focusing increased attention over the past two years on the huge problems with woody biomass energy.  We thank Senators Barrett, Rodrigues, Lesser, and Gomez for their leadership on this issue and are deeply appreciative of Senate leadership for including these important provisions in the climate bill.”

S.2819 removes woody biomass from two major clean energy programs in Massachusetts, so that Massachusetts ratepayers will not be forced to subsidize the burning of trees for energy under these programs.

“This bill is pivotal in the fight against biomass here in Massachusetts after years of dedicated advocacy,” said Senator Eric Lesser. “We need to incentivize truly clean and renewable energy sources like solar and wind and focus on preventing dirty plants from setting up shop in our most vulnerable communities. It’s time to do better for our children and for our planet.”

“Last April, years of advocacy efforts from the grassroots level all the way to the top struck a blow against the Palmer Renewable Energy Plant and other biomass projects like it,” said Senator Adam Gomez.  “It is time the state takes a firm stance that we will not move forward with biomass facilities that pollute our air and harm our health. This legislation tells the biomass industry that our state is closing the door on dirty energy.”

In March, PFPI and its partners issued a joint letter urging the legislature to include provisions in the climate bill that would remove clean energy subsidies for biomass. S.2819 answers that call by  ending renewable energy subsidies for woody biomass heat and power in Massachusetts’ Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (APS) and Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS), respectively.