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Biomass Power Industry Launches Marketing Campaign

The biomass power industry rolled out a $250,000 marketing campaign on Thursday that will nudge lawmakers to keep tax incentives for companies that turn wood scraps, felled trees, agricultural waste and other renewable sources into electricity.

In a conference call, Biomass Power Association President Bob Cleaves told reporters his group plans to divide the campaign’s budget into several parts: educating lawmakers about the organization’s members, lobbying, Internet and cable advertising, media interviews, and facility tours.

“Most people, if you said, What is biomass?’ they wouldn’t have a clue,— Cleaves said. “That’s got to change.—

If the tax credits expire, Cleaves estimates that at least half of the 80 plants represented by his organization will close, leaving thousands out of work. The group’s president acknowledged that the campaign’s budget is modest and said he plans to team up with larger groups to make the industry’s case — primarily in economic terms.

“This is all about jobs,— he said. “In the end, in 2009 what’s relevant to the American people is: Is this an investment in our economic future?—

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