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U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today praised the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for delaying for three years carbon dioxide emissions permits for biomass boilers that convert wood and other plant material into energy. The move is significant in Colorado because backers of biomass energy say that more 2 million acres of national forest land hit hard by a mountain pine park beetle epidemic could be tapped to generate hot-water heat and electricity that would actually replace dirtier fuel sources like coal and natural gas. The EPA delay makes that process more realistic.