In Washington, Babbott backs bill to burn forest waste for renewable energy

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Aaron Mayville with the Coconino National Forest talks with Art Babbott, Chairman of the Coconino County Board of Supervisors, during a tour of a logging site at the base of Mount Elden in this 2018 photo. Then-Senator Jon Kyl visited Flagstaff to see local thinning efforts on city, state and federal land surrounding the city.

Jake Bacon, Arizona Daily Sun

MacKENZIE BELLEY
Cronkite News
WASHINGTON — Coconino County Supervisor Art Babbott urged senators this week to pass a bill that would let limbs and trees left over from forest maintenance be burned for renewable energy.Babbott, testifying before a Senate Energy and Natural Resources subcommittee, said the lack of a market for forest waste has been a bottleneck choking efforts to clear national forests of undergrowth and halt the growth of catastrophic wildfires.“The rules have changed, we can’t use the same strategies that used to work because they don’t work anymore,” said Babbott, who punctuated his remarks by noting that he had received notice during his testimony of another wildfire breaking out in the county.But a coalition of environmental groups blasted the bill as “a false solution in search of a problem,” and one …

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