A bipartisan group of U.S. House members signed a letter asking the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider its stance on biomass power. In the preliminary draft of the rules on greenhouse gas emissions, the EPA did not consider biomass power a renewable power source, placing it in the same category as fossil fuels. Congressmen Greg Walden, and Peter DeFazio are leading the charge to encourage the EPA to exempt biomass for what's called the "Tailoring Rule"* until the agency has a chance to review a host of comments they have received on the issue. 32 members of Congress have signed the letter to the EPA. Central Oregon has at least two major biomass power proposals underway; a 20 megawatt power plant scheduled for La Pine and a 35-megawatt plant in development in Warm Springs. The two plants are to cost about $200-million and will bring in about 100 jobs.
*EPA's “Tailoring Rule "tailors" permitting programs to limit the number of facilities that would be required to obtain new source review and Title V operating permits based on their greenhouse gas emissions. EPA said the threshold would cover power plants, refineries and other large industrial plants while exempting smaller sources like farms, restaurants, schools and other facilities.