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New GHG rules exclude biomass energy

Wood-burning power plants will not be included in the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) new greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions policy.

The Clean Air Act, which was introduced earlier this year, is aimed at encouraging high GHG emitters in the US to lower their pollution levels over the upcoming three years.

From 1 July 2011 the Clear Air Act is set to change and will exclude emissions generated from burning biomass to produce energy.

The EPA's decision however has created a split response. Members of the Congress disagree with the regulations and believe that this will put people off developing new biomass-to-energy projects that will lower the nation's dependence on fossil fuels.

On the other hand, the Center for Biological Diversity believes that the EPA's move will increase carbon emissions and stands by its argument that large-scale biomass power plants cannot be considered carbon neutral.

'The EPA has caved in to months of political pressure from timber and biomass industries and their allies in Congress,' says CBD attorney Kevin Bundy.