What the EPA Draft Determination on Biogenic Carbon Means for the Paper Industry

On November 18, 2014 the US EPA issued a draft “Framework for Assessing Biogenic Emissions from Stationary Sources.” The implications for the US paper industry and its workers of this document are substantial. Important to note and discussed later in this paper is the fact that this is only the beginning of the process the framework must go through before it becomes final.

For many years, there has been controversy about whether or not biogenic emissions (that is emissions from boilers and other equipment that use renewable biomass as fuel) from sources such as pulp and paper mills should count as carbon neutral. Some industry interests contended they always should be considered carbon neutral. Some in the environmental community have taken the position that biomass is never carbon neutral. The USW took a position that biomass fuel from properly-managed forest and other lands is carbon neutral because of the systematic re-planting efforts that renew the forest after each cut ... more

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