[NEWS] White Paper Refutes Letter to Congress Claims on Biomass Energy
– by Katie Fletcher, May 12, 2016, Biomass Magazine
Earlier this month, FutureMetrics LLC published a white paper authored by William Strauss that discusses why an editorial the Washington Post published at the end of April and the letter to U.S. Congress the article was based on make inaccurate claims about biomass for energy.
The Washington Post’s editorial entitled “Dear Congress: Burning wood is not the future of energy” was based on a recent written “warning” to congress by 65 research scientists and practitioners who study energy, soils, forested and wetland ecosystems and climate change. As a recognized global consultant in the wood pellet sector, Strauss with FutureMetrics stated “we strongly disagree with the experts’ characterization in their letter to Congress that biomass is never carbon neutral.”
Besides carbon neutrality Strauss highlights a number of inaccuracies he identified in the literature to Congress and written by the Washington Post. Strauss wrote that the foundation for carbon neutrality is sustainability. “Using wood for energy has to be part of a system that includes independent auditing that assures that the stock of carbon held in the forests is not depleted.” Strauss affirmed that concerns about deforestation are well-intentioned, but deforestation is not consistent with the “rigorous requirements for sustainability and the preservation of carbon sinks that are the foundation of the policies that support the substitution of coal by wood pellets in power plants.”
Strauss clarified that the testimony to Congress is right in that there is not enough sustainable wood supply in North America to replace all the coal used for power generation, but “as a transition fuel, industrial wood pellets can play an important role as one of many options for taking us from a heavily geologically carbonized energy sector to a future in which combustion of fuels made from geologic carbon is no lower allowed.”