WASHINGTON, DC, Nov. 1, 2018 (Press Release) -American Forest & Paper Association President and CEO Donna Harman issued the following statement regarding the joint Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Department of Energy letter to Congress on biomass carbon neutrality.
“We are encouraged that the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy and the United States Department of Agriculture are committed to taking action on the Congressional directive to produce clear, science-based policies that reflect the carbon neutrality of biomass and recognize it as a renewable energy source. More than seven years of policy uncertainty in this area jeopardizes our companies’ ability to invest in biomass and build and upgrade their facilities. Removing that barrier clears the way for future economic growth and job creation and helps ensure the U.S. is in step with global competitors. That’s a winning combination for everyone.”
The carbon benefits of biomass harvested from sustainably-managed forest are well established.
According to a study by the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, accounting for fossil fuel displacement and avoided emissions associated with disposal, the use of biomass residuals by the forest products industry avoids the emission of approximately 181 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year.
Paper and forest products manufacturers compete globally against companies from countries that recognize biomass carbon neutrality.
U.S. Forest Service data indicates U.S. timberland grows almost twice as much wood as is harvested for all purposes with growing forests absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and offsetting emissions from wood combustion.
The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) serves to advance a sustainable U.S. pulp, paper, packaging, tissue and wood products manufacturing industry through fact-based public policy and marketplace advocacy. AF&PA member companies make products essential for everyday life from renewable and recyclable resources and are committed to continuous improvement through the industry’s sustainability initiative — Better Practices, Better Planet 2020. The forest products industry accounts for approximately four percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures nearly $300 billion in products annually and employs approximately 950,000 men and women. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $55 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 45 states.