WASHINGTON, Aug. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The Biomass Power Association (BPA) (www.BiomassPowerAssociation.org), the nation's leading association of biomass power companies, today announced the launch of a $250,000 public relations, advocacy, and advertising campaign to demonstrate the vital role that biomass power can play in reducing greenhouse gases and creating new jobs across America, especially in rural communities. The campaign, which will focus on Washington, DC, will highlight the economic and environmental benefits of biomass power, as well as the importance of extending tax incentives essential to maintaining existing biomass power facilities and creating jobs.
"The goal of this campaign is to inform people of the long-term environmental and economic benefits of biomass power," said Bob Cleaves, President and CEO of the Biomass Power Association. "We will emphasize that biomass power actually reduces greenhouse gases and presents the greatest opportunity to meet a strong standard for renewable electricity and create thousands of clean energy jobs."
The Biomass Power Association will launch this campaign with a series of biomass power education and promotional activities that will include the following:
- Biomass Power Educational Briefing: BPA will host an event with biomass industry and energy experts in Washington, DC to highlight the environmental and economic benefits of biomass power.
- Biomass Power Facility Tours: BPA will conduct biomass power facility tours to demonstrate how electricity is generated from organic waste such as scrap lumber, forest debris, and agricultural harvest waste.
- Advertising: BPA will make several strategic ad-buys focusing on the Washington, DC market to emphasize the potential for biomass power to create thousands of new clean energy jobs, while reducing greenhouse gases and improving the environment.
- Website Overhaul: BPA will conduct a full website overhaul to better provide visitors with clear and comprehensive information. The new website will be a one-stop resource for BPA members, journalists, and others to learn more about biomass power.
Biomass Power Creates Thousands of Clean Energy Jobs
The biggest threat to the biomass power industry and thousands of clean energy jobs is the expiration of essential tax credits for existing biomass power facilities. Production tax credits were awarded to renewable energy sources to help spur investment in clean energy. Biomass power currently receives only half the production tax credit as other renewable technologies, yet these credits are set to expire at the end of this year.
The Biomass Power Association urges Congress to level the playing field in the renewable industry by providing tax equity, or parity, in the production tax credit. Further, Congress must extend these tax credits to existing biomass power facilities for an additional five years. Because clean and renewable energy is more expensive to produce than fossil fuels, these federal production tax credits are critical to the renewable energy industry. Allowing these tax credits for biomass power to expire would put thousands of jobs at serious risk.
Supporting a Strong Federal Renewable Electricity Standard
Congress is currently debating legislation that will mandate that each state produce a significant percentage of their electricity from renewable sources of energy. The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed cap and trade legislation proposing a federal renewable electricity standard (RES) of 15 percent by the year 2020.
The proposed renewable electricity standard of 15 percent falls far short of a meaningful commitment to reducing America's dependence on fossil fuels. The Biomass Power Association supports a strong renewable electricity standard of 25 percent by the year 2020 to help create thousands of clean energy jobs and reduce greenhouse gases. The U.S. Senate can strengthen America's commitment to renewable electricity by calling for higher renewable standards when they take up the energy legislation in the fall.
Facts About Biomass As A Renewable Energy Source
The Department of Energy estimates that biomass-powered plants currently provide almost 2% of the nation's energy. The DOE projects that the potential for biomass could grow to 15% by 2020 -- a goal that must be realized to reach federal and state renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals.
"Many southeastern states lack sustainable access to wind or solar power," said Cleaves. "This campaign will demonstrate how biomass power can produce enough renewable electricity to meet a strong federal mandate in all fifty states and create thousands of green jobs in the process. Biomass is the unknown renewable energy source that will lead the way to a clean energy future."
The economic and environmental benefits of increasing America's use of clean, renewable biomass power include:
- Creating Green Jobs: A strong mandate for renewable energy will spur investment in the biomass power industry and create thousands of green jobs all across the United States, and especially in small rural communities.
- Reducing Greenhouse Gases: Biomass power reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 30 million tons annually when accounting for the displaced fossil fuels. The biomass electricity generating process eliminates the harmful methane gas and greatly reduces carbon emissions.
- Improving Forest Health: The biomass power industry removes 68.8 million tons of forest waste annually. Cleaning this debris from the forest floor improves forest health and dramatically reduces the risk of forest fires.
Biomass power is a $1 billion industry with 80 facilities in 20 states and provides over 18,000 jobs nationwide. Power plants are predominately located in rural communities, creating thousands of jobs and producing millions in revenue for small towns. Biomass power is a clean and abundant source of electricity that will allow states to pursue even more aggressive goals for increasing their use of renewable energy in the future.
To Schedule an Interview, Please Call (202) 429-4929 or Email Media@BiomassPowerAssociation.org.
The Biomass Power Association is a member-driven organization with the goal of increasing the use of biomass power and creating new jobs and opportunities in the biomass industry. As policymakers at every level explore ways to lower greenhouse gases and reduce America's dependence on foreign oil, BPA is the leading advocate at the state and federal level for a strong commitment to clean, renewable biomass energy. Members include local owners and operators of existing biomass facilities, suppliers, plant developers and others all across the U.S. For more information please visit www.BiomassPowerAssociation.org.
SOURCE The Biomass Power Association