Contact Patrick on biomass

The biomass industry has been pressuring the Patrick/ Murray Administration to weaken already inadequate proposed biomass public subsidy regulations. Many scientists, medical groups and environmental organizations have brought to the public’s attention the shortcomings and problems with this means of producing power, not only in Massachusetts, but in many states throughout our country.

The negative impacts that biomass power plants have on air, water, forests and climate should eliminate this industry from receiving taxpayer funded subsidies. Biomass burning is not a clean, green form of energy of the future; it is a methodology of the past. From the recent Manomet Study, one can conclude that biomass incineration is not carbon neutral. We should be using our limited financial resources to encourage technologies of the future that will not adversely affect public health and threaten our environment.

It is time that our political leaders give priority to the health and safety of the citizens and to the protection of our environment and not be beholden to the special interests and profit motives of polluting corporations. We, the taxpayers, should not be funding inefficient and damaging biomass electricity.

If you agree, please call Gov.r Patrick and Lt. Gov. Murray at 888-870-7770 and tell them so. At the very least, if any subsidies are made available to the biomass industry, then they should have to meet very high standards of efficiency and safety. Biomass plants should meet a minimum 60 percent level of efficiency and forest harvests for biomass material should be limited to 15 percent. Any existing biomass facilities need to meet requirements by 2015. They must not be grandfathered in to escape stricter standards. Also, greenhouse gas emissions should be counted correctly to avoid climate change impacts.

Please contact your local state senator and representative, as well, regarding these needed standards.

Realistically, the biomass industry will probably not be going away soon. However, if taxpayer funded subsidies for these companies can be reduced or eliminated, then perhaps focus can be redirected to ways of producing energy that is truly clean, green and affordably priced, while at the same time creating thousands of jobs in these economically difficult times.

Henry Euler, Montgomery

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