CULM is not “biomass” for tax purposes, a federal appeals court confirmed in late December.
“Culm” is waste left above ground after coal is sifted from dirt brought out of underground coal mines in the anthracite region in eastern Pennsylvania. The same residue from bituminous mines is called “gob.” If the material is biomass, then power plants burning it can be depreciated over five years for tax purposes. Such plants put into service before 1988 would also have qualified for an energy tax credit. “Coal” does not qualify as biomass. A federal appeals court said the material is coal. The case is Gilberton Power Co. v. United States.