Congressman Sanford Bishop

Representing the 2nd District of Georgia


Aug 3, 2015
Press Release

Washington, D.C.—Today, U.S. Representatives Sanford Bishop (GA-02) and Reid Ribble (WI-08) led a bipartisan group of 154 Members of Congress in urging the federal government to consider sustainably managed forests as carbon neutral in forthcoming EPA regulations and all future policy rulemakings.

“It is vitally important to Georgia and our nation that we continue to protect our broad energy portfolio and employ all types of resources, including biomass and other renewable sources of energy,” said Congressman Bishop (GA-02). “To that end, we must ensure oversight of the energy industry reflects an understanding that biomass utilization is a carbon neutral and economically viable process.”

“Sustainable forest management has been documented many times over as a net positive for our environment, and as the number one paper-producing state in the nation, it is a cornerstone of both our economy and our landscape,” said Congressman Ribble (WI-08). “It is crucial that that the EPA and other federal agencies recognize this positive effect and not penalize states whose economies rely heavily on this sustainable practice in any future rulemakings.”

In a letter to U. S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy, Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the members say:

The carbon neutrality of forest biomass has been recognized repeatedly by numerous studies, agencies, institutions, legislation, and rules around the world, and there has been no dispute about the carbon neutrality of biomass derived from residuals of forest products manufacturing and agriculture. Our constituents employed in the biomass supply chain deserve a federal policy that recognizes the clear benefits of forest bioenergy.  We urge you to ensure that federal policies are consistent and reflect the carbon neutrality of these types of bioenergy.

Under the EPA’s forthcoming Clean Power Plan, new regulations are challenging states to reduce carbon emissions from their existing infrastructure, and rules are expected for new power plants as well.  Many states currently rely on renewable biomass, often a byproduct of forest management and pulp and paper production, as an important part of meeting their broader energy production goals.  Representatives Ribble, Bishop, and a wide bipartisan group of Members are united in urging the Administration to honor the work states are doing in sustainable forest management and to continue to regard it as a carbon neutral activity.