In May 2017, Congress took decisive action to recognize biomass as a carbon neutral, renewable resource and an important part of the U.S. energy portfolio. Biomass energy markets strengthen the economic viability of privately owned forests.
The inclusion of this language in the 2017 omnibus appropriations bill is a recognition by a bipartisan group of lawmakers that forest bioenergy is a carbon-neutral, renewable energy source. In the provision, Congress also directs the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Energy to establish clear and simple policies for the utilization of forest biomass.
In 2016, the same language was passed unanimously on the Senate floor as part of the Senate energy bill.