By Donna Harman
President and CEO
Last week was a busy one at AF&PA as we hosted our board of
directors for their annual kick-off meeting. One of the many, many
discussion topics was setting the association’s 2014 federal policy
By knowing what challenges our members face and what issues have the greatest potential to affect their ability to operate, we’re able to concentrate our advocacy efforts to ensure lawmakers and regulators hear our industry’s most pressing concerns. This year, we’ve narrowed it to several key areas.
- Greenhouse gas regulations: We will work with key stakeholders and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to support recognition of the carbon neutrality of biomass in greenhouse gas regulations, including in prevention of significant deterioration rules and new source performance standards.
- Air regulations: We will work with lawmakers, EPA, and other stakeholders to support development of practical and sustainable air regulations, including ozone national ambient air quality standards, boiler maximum achievable control technology and non-hazardous secondary materials rules.
- Energy: We will support energy policies that take into consideration the carbon-reduction benefits provided by the industry’s use of biomass in energy production as well as cost and supply implications for the paper and wood products industry.
- Rail and truck transportation: We will support Congress’ work to create better and more efficient rail and truck transportation options for the industry through the Federal Highway Reauthorization Bill or other related legislation
- Forestry and agriculture: We welcomed passage of the Farm bill earlier this week and will work with legislators, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and others to ensure industry concerns are addressed in a variety of forestry and agriculture programs, including advocating for adequate funding of the Forest Inventory Analysis program and for inclusion of forest products in the USDA’s BioPreferred program.
- Tax: We will track and work to ensure that any tax changes improve economic growth, job opportunities, and the competitiveness of U.S.-based businesses.
- Postal – We will continue to advocate for postal reform, as one-third of all paper produced in the U.S. goes into the mail stream, worth $6 billion in industry revenues. Stable postal rates are important to the mailing industry supply chain.
In addition to these areas, AF&PA staff will continue to track, engage, and report on many other issues of importance, such as paper options, water regulations, and others that come up on Capitol Hill throughout the year.
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