Energy Bill to Include Boost for Biomass?

Congress could wrap up a huge energy bill by this fall. It could include a minimum renewable energy standard for utilities. That'd mean more wind and solar-generated power. Shawn Allee reports biomass could get a boost, too.

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Congress could wrap up a huge energy bill by this fall. It could include a minimum renewable energy standard for utilities. That'd mean more wind and solar-generated power. Shawn Allee reports biomass could get a boost, too:

Biomass is catch-all term for technology that turns grass, wood chips, or even algae into energy or heat.

It's usually ignored in political discussions, but Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders brought it up in a recent hearing.

He says he was inspired by a power plant he saw at Middlebury College.

"I went to a plant they have on campus which is using wood chips replacing oil they are saving $700,000 a year and creating local jobs and cutting greenhouse gas emissions."

Congress is considering what kind of plants and agricultural waste might qualify as "renewable biomass energy."

Some energy analysts say some plants shouldn't be included, since it could take too much energy to collect and transport them.

For The Environment Report, I'm Shawn Allee.