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BTEC supportive of rural jobs, clean air and wood for energy

In response to an Executive Order signed by US President Trump rescinding various climate change rules, the Biomass Thermal Energy Council (BTEC) has stated that opposes the move because it sends the wrong signals to the energy marketplace regarding social, environmental, and economic cost of energy resources.

During National Forest Products Week the USDA announced a new grant to expand wood products and wood energy markets.
Wood is a low-carbon renewable fuel used to heat and power homes and businesses and provides rural jobs.

US President Trump traveled to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to sign an Executive Order that begins the process of reviewing and rolling back the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era rule that is one of the nation’s key initiatives to address climate change.

The order also scraps the federal guidance instructing agencies to factor climate change into policymaking, and disbands the team tasked with calculating the “social cost of carbon.”

Whilst supportive of rural jobs and clean air, the Biomass Thermal Energy Council (BTEC) opposes the Trump Administration rescinding various climate change rules because it sends the wrong signals to the energy marketplace regarding the social, environmental, and economic cost of energy resources.

According to BTEC, these actions will “disadvantage renewable energy resources such as wood, which are the fuels that will heat and power our nation’s future”.

– Biomass, which is primarily wood, is a low-carbon fuel. While many may be unaware, modern wood heating is now being utilized across the nation for advanced heat and combined heat and power applications in schools, hospitals, public safety buildings, commercial buildings, and thousands of residences, said Jeff Serfass, Executive Director of BTEC in a statement.

On the economic development front, wood is a better choice for rural job generation than coal not only because it is found in abundance in all of the areas where coal is mined, but because it is a renewable resource that regenerates itself, creating permanent jobs.

– Both skilled and unskilled labor can be employed in rural areas to utilize wood energy. This includes loggers, foresters, truck drivers engineers, electricians, and plumbers, Serfass added.

BTEC supports carbon regulatory frameworks such as the Clean Power Plan, which it says “properly acknowledge” the carbon reduction benefits of sustainable, high-efficiency wood energy. In addition to the climate change and jobs creation impacts, BTEC also recognizes the benefits of a regulatory structure that level the energy playing field, and uses the power of market forces to provide a boost to modern wood heating in the US.

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