"It is crucial that policymakers consider how best to utilize America's forest resource to both support good jobs and produce more renewable energy," said Donna Harman, President and CEO of AF&PA. "These studies show that if designed carefully, national energy policies can both sustain the significant job-sustaining capacity of the forest products industry while expanding renewable energy."
The first study, "Jobs Creation in PPI [Pulp and Paper Industry] and Energy Alternative in the United States," was conducted by RISI, a leading information provider for the global forest products industry. It found that for a given volume of wood, the forest products industry sustains nine times as many jobs as stand-alone biomass energy production.
The second study, "Availability and Sustainability of Wood Resources for Energy Generation in the United States," was conducted by Forisk Consulting, a Georgia-based research firm. It found that approximately 50 million dry tons of under-utilized logging residues and urban wood residuals was readily available, and more trees could be planted, to produce more renewable energy without disrupting the biomass supply used by the forest products industry -- which supports far more jobs than stand-alone energy production.
"Our economy and our environment will be best served if wood is used in ways that support the most jobs while increasing renewable energy use," said Harman. "We hope this research will help policymakers design programs to achieve these important goals."