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Northeast Woody/Warm-season Biomass Consortium

Extension Programs: NEWBio Webinars


About our Webinars

Join us on the second Tuesday of each month for our "Northeast Bioenergy Webinar Series". These online, hour-long presentations are free to the public, and feature fascinating and important topics related to bioenergy in the northeast.


Recordings of Previous Webinars

(click the title to access the recording)

Clean Power Plan W ebinar Series

The Clean Power Plan (CPP) was announced by President Obama and the EPA in early August of 2015 and provides the first-ever national standards that address carbon pollution from power plants. The final rule takes into account over 4.3 million stakeholder and public comments to ease its implementation, with individual states, tribes, and territories building their own plans to meet mandated carbon reduction goals specific to each planning entity. Those goals are set for the year 2030, providing 15 years for full implementation of emission reduction measures, whose efficacy will be assessed between 2022 and 2029. The proposed state plans outlining how this will be achieved must be submitted in September of 2016 and contain specific steps for each tool in a portfolio of methods used to meet state-level goals: emissions trading, increasing energy efficiency on both supply and demand sides, shifting coal generation to natural gas generation, and/or increasing renewable power generation. That last category leaves room for biomass energy, but stakeholders in the bioeconomy still seek clarification on exactly how biomass could or should fit in to a state plan. This webinar series begins to tackle that question, providing guidance, information from cutting-edge research, and expert perspectives on the role sustainable bioenergy can play in state plans designed to meet CPP requirements. Though the US Supreme Court recently granted a stay on the CPP, many states continue developing their individual plans, and the need for information and clarity regarding this policy remains.

For a full listing and links to the webinars and descriptions, keep scrolling!

This series is a co-sponsored effort by the USDA NIFA AFRI Regional Bioenergy System Coordinated Agricultural Projects, which focus on sustainable production of advanced biofuels, industrial chemicals, and biobased products to enhance existing agricultural systems, create rural jobs, and achieve other goals related to energy security and sustainability.


January 12, 1pm EST
U.S. Carbon Policy Trends and Implications for the Biomass Industry
Jessie Stolark and Laura Small, Policy Associates with the Environmental and Energy Study Institute

The Clean Power Plan (CPP) is the keystone policy of President Obama's Climate Action Plan, an ambitious goal to cut economy wide greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. The CPP will reduce greenhouse gases from the power sector by 32 percent by 2030 through a variety of measures. While the rule was finalized last fall, 2016 will still see the unfolding of numerous legal challenges to the rule and finalization of the Federal Implementation Plan option (required by non-compliant states). This presentation will cover the history and precedence for the CPP, how EPA expects states to comply with the rule, opportunities for biomass stakeholders to engage with EPA and state air regulators on the rule, and the potential implications to the U.S. biomass industry.
View archived webinar here


February 9, 1pm EST:
Counting carbon in bioenergy systems: opportunities and challenges
Peter Woodbury, Cornell University

This presentation, presented by Peter Woodbury of Cornell University, will consider aspects of the carbon cycle critical for bioenergy carbon accounting in general (the EPA accounting framework specifically will be addressed in the next session) In addition to the carbon cycle, we include methane and nitrous oxide because these greenhouse gases (GHGs) are much more potent than carbon dioxide, so small amounts really matter when counting overall GHG emissions. We will review different kinds of biomass feedstocks and bioenergy systems. We will critically examine claims that bioenergy systems are either "carbon-neutral" or that they emit more GHGs than fossil fuel systems. We will discuss important issues that greatly affect GHG accounting, including choice of baseline, scope of the analysis, spatial scales (local to national) and time scales (annual to centuries). Furthermore, we will ask how stakeholders, regulators, and scientists may have different goals and priorities for greenhouse gas accounting rules. We will also examine some examples of existing accounting rules and what they suggest about key opportunities and challenges for accurately accounting for GHG emissions from bioenergy systems.
View archived webinar here


February 23, 1pm EST:
Emissions Accounting for Biomass Under the Clean Power Plan
Emily McGlynn, Senior Advisor at Forest Trends

This presentation more specifically addresses the calculations in the EPA's Biogenic Emissions Accounting Framework, which recently completed a second round of review by the agency's Science Advisory Board.  This will have significant implications once finalized by EPA on how state-level regulators manage the use of bioenergy in their state implementation plans, especially when it comes to defining the term "qualified biomass:"  biomass that demonstrates net reductions of CO2 compared to fossil fuels.
View archived webinar here


March 8, 1pm EST
Incorporating Traditional Forest Product Markets in CPP Biomass Evaluations
Greg Latta, University of Idaho

This presentation by Greg Latta of the University of Idaho focuses on the issue of baseline choice in evaluating the greenhouse gas (GHG) implications of biomass usage in energy generation. Baseline determination essentially involves some sort of modeling effort to establish a level of GHG emissions and sequestration over time against which an alternative future involving some level of biomass utilization for energy can be evaluated. In forestry, these models typically balance silviculture and harvesting activities with forest manufacturing and product demand through basic market mechanics. We will look across a range of forest market models in use today and discuss how geographic range, sectoral scope, and temporal dynamics can influence baseline and thus simulated response to additional biomass demand.
View archived webinar here  


April 19, 1 pm EST
Bioelectricity under the CPP
Carrie Annand, Vice President of External Affairs with the Biomass Power Association

This presentation by Carrie Annand, Vice President of External Affairs with the Biomass Power Association (BPA), focuses on the EPA's Clean Power Plan and various states' plans for including biomass. She will also look at policy factors that are currently unknown and their possible outcomes for the biomass power industry.
View archived webinar here.


May 24, 1 pm EST
Approaches to CPP State Implementation Using Biomass: A Look at Oregon and Washington
Marcus Kauffman, Biomass Resource Specialist, Oregon Department of Forestry
Chuck Hersey, Forest Health Planner, Washington State Department of Natural Resources

This presentation offers a glimpse into state-level approaches to the Clean Power Plan where biomass energy is considered both a possible CPP planning tool as well as a key resource in addressing concerns such as the risk of severe wildfires and air quality.  Learn more about these real examples of biomass incorporation into state implementation plans for Oregon and Washington, and hear about how science-based approaches can provide a robust and nuanced picture of biomass in a low-carbon future.
View archived webinar here.


August 11, 1 pm EST
The Legal Landscape for the Clean Power Plan
Lara B. Fowler
Senior Lecturer, Penn State Law
Assistant Director, Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment

This webinar provides a brief recap of the U.S. Clean Power Plan and what has happened since it was released. The webinar will provide an update on current status and legal challenges, as well as efforts by some states to implement the plan regardless of a stay issued by the U.S. Supreme Court.
View archived webinar here.


NEWBio (consortium members below) is supported by Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grant no. 2012-68005-19703 
from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
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