WASHINGTON -- Fourteen environmental groups are asking officials at the Office of Management and Budget to drop biomass power plants from a White House plan to reduce emissions that lead to climate change.
If their request is successful, Kings County farmers would be affected. Currently, local orchard waste is burned in biomass facilities. If those facilities were to shut down, farmers would be left with no easy disposal options.
Open-field burning is generally not allowed by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.
The elimination of biomass plants could also undercut a bill introduced by Assemblyman Rudy Salas, D-Bakersfield, that would channel cap-and-trade revenue into subsidies for biomass power plants.
The bill was passed by the Assembly earlier this month. It's currently in the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee.
The environmental groups claim that biomass power produces 50 percent more emissions than coal-burning power plants.