Act to REMOVE BIOMASS from climate legislation in Massachusetts
Join us in writing to the joint committee that is reconciling the Senate and House climate bills, H.4912 and S.2500, passed earlier this year, with this message. Biomass energy must be removed from the list of “non-carbon emitting fuels.” The fact is biomass is a huge emitter of carbon dioxide and would send us backwards on our path toward zero carbon emissions by 2050.
In previous years the legislative session has ended in August. Because of the overwhelming need for the Legislature to address the pandemic earlier this year, they decided to extend this legislative session to the end of the year. They have not passed any climate legislation, which is stuck in committees. It is time to demand that they pass strong climate legislation now. We must begin to tackle multiple crises simultaneously. Time is running out.
Sharon Farmer wrote this letter to committee members.
Dear Representative Jones:
I understand that you are a member of the conference committee that is charged with the task of reconciling House bill H. 4912 and Senate Bill S. 2500, on climate change.
I write because it is of urgent concern that one aspect of the house bill be changed: biomass fuel should be eliminated from the list of “non-carbon emitting” sources of energy for electrical plants. Biomass, in fact, produces more CO2 than does coal, and it contributes large quantities of particulate matter – the kind that causes asthma – to the air. This is of particular concern for those of us in the Connecticut Valley because Palmer Renewable is continuing with its attempts to build a biomass facility in Springfield, which is the asthma capital of the U.S.
Both the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts and the Sierra Club are opposed to the use of biomass fuel. This is not only the sensible position – it is absolutely necessary if we are to move forward towards a state goal of zero carbon emissions.
Contacts for committee members
Michael Barrett: Mike.Barrett@masenate.gov
Cynthia Creem: Cynthia.Creem@masenate.gov
Patrick O’Connor: Patrick.Oconnor@masenate.gov
Thomas Golden: Thomas.Golden@mahouse.gov
Patricia Haddad: Patricia.Haddad@mahouse.gov
Bradley Jones: Bradley.Jones@mahouse.gov
“In the nation’s asthma capital, plans to burn wood for energy spark fury,” Boston Globe, October 20, 2020 https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/10/20/science/nations-asthma-capital-plans-burn-wood-energy-spark-fury/#bgmp-comments
“Addressing the climate and justice,” MetroWest Daily News, Paul Dale, chair of the Massachusetts Sierra Club Energy Committee, 9/20/2020 Committeehttps://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/20200920/opiniondale-addressing-climate-and-justice
Sharon Farmer’s letter-to-the-editor, Hampshire Gazette, 9/30/2020