Mass.: Wood power emits more carbon than coal

By Steve Leblanc, Associated Press Writer
BOSTON — Massachusetts is taking a second look at wood-burning power plants after a new study for the state found the use of the forest “biomass” releases more greenhouse gases than coal.

Biomass has long been part of the state’s portfolio of renewable energy sources, along with solar, wind and geothermal.

Massachusetts Environmental Secretary Ian Bowles said the state is now rethinking that policy — which includes taxpayer incentives for wood-burning plants.

The Patrick administration has already invested $1 million to jump-start four proposed wood-burning plants in Russell, Greenfield, Springfield and Pittsfield.

Bowles commissioned the study after environmental activists warned biomass power plants could add to global warming.

Activists are pushing a ballot question to restrict the amount of carbon dioxide the power plants can emit.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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