The Clean Power Plan and Possible Forest Industry Ramifications

By Eric Walberg

The Obama Administration’s newly released Clean Power Plan (http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards/clean-power-plan-proposed-rule) has the potential to influence at least two aspects of the forest industry in the United States. The first aspect is the potential for enhanced use of biomass energy to replace coal in energy production. The Plan includes expanded use of renewable energy sources as one possible component of state-level compliance. The details of carbon accounting for biogenic sources will be resolved when EPA finalizes their biogenic carbon emissions accounting framework. The second aspect is the possibility of an expanded market for forest carbon credits through state-level or multi-state credit trading programs.

No doubt the Clean Power Plan will face legal challenges and it will likely be a long road to implementation. Manomet staff will continue to track the progress of the Plan and will report on new developments.