Baucus, Tester, and Crapo Bill to Eliminate Wildlife and Forest Protections

Baucus, Tester, and Crapo Bill to Eliminate Wildlife and Forest Protections

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Senators Baucus, Tester, and Crapo have proposed a bill (S. 3381), which would eliminate critical forest and land safeguards for biomass production. 

In 2007, when the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) was expanded, Congress recognized the need for forests and other natural ecosystems to be protected from bioenergy production.  It defined restrictions on what types of biomass could be used for the RFS; we now call this “the Biomass Definition.”  Only months later, the 2008 Farm Bill was passed with a biomass definition that did not include protections for natural ecosystems.  However, this definition was tied to programs that did have other forms of sustainability criteria within them.

Senators Baucus, Tester, and Crapo’s bill is would replace the RFS’s biomass definition with the Farm Bill’s biomass definition, and not include any types of sustainability and ecosystem protections.  These senators are essentially trying to deregulate the biofuels industry.  What they seem to forget is that if biofuels production is deregulated, our forests and wildlife habitats will be in peril. 

Friends of the Earth, along with twenty other clean energy and environmental organizations, wrote to the Senate in opposition to this bill.