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WASHINGTON – American Forest & Paper Association President and CEO Donna Harman issued the following statement in response to the House Interior Appropriations bill (H.R. 5538) that includes a provision to recognize the carbon benefits of biomass energy.
“We appreciate the actions taken by Congress to address this long overdue issue, which has created a great deal of uncertainty for our industry and everyone who relies on biomass-based energy to run their businesses.
“Our industry is the largest producer and user of renewable energy of any manufacturing sector in the U.S., with on average about two-thirds of the energy needed to run our mills being generated on site from biomass. Most of this biomass comes in the form of manufacturing residuals that would otherwise be incinerated or go to landfill and generate methane, which is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
“Congress needs to set a legislative policy direction to ensure that U.S. paper and wood products manufacturers are not at a disadvantage with global competitors. It has been over six years since EPA created confusion and uncertainty about the role of biomass as a renewable energy in America. This legislation is a positive step toward resolution.
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 4 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures over $200 billion in products annually, and employs approximately 900,000 men and women. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $50 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 47 states. Visit AF&PA online at www.afandpa.org or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper.