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WASHINGTON – American Forest & Paper Association President and CEO Donna Harman issued the following statement about the effect yesterday’s election will have on American paper and wood products manufacturers.
“The political shift that happened across the country earlier this week signals Americans’ appetite for real change in Washington, D.C. This is significant for our industry and the 900,000 men and women we represent, because the recent onslaught of federal regulations thwarts American competitiveness.
“Moreover, the cumulative burden of regulations is building and threatens even more harm to jobs in our industry. The bureaucracy that causes delay after delay and regulations that fail to balance benefits with costs have created an atmosphere of uncertainty in the business community, making it difficult to plan for future investment when the rules change faster than they can be implemented.
“Right now, the EPA has an opportunity to restore some certainty in our industry by recognizing our use of biomass-based energy as a carbon-neutral solution to helping the country achieve its climate goals. Biomass residuals provide immense greenhouse gas reduction benefits and help us use less fossil fuel in our mill operations. Every other major country not only recognizes the value of this biomass energy use, they encourage it. Unfortunately, EPA’s current policies treat our industry’s biomass energy in the U.S. exactly like non-renewable sources. We hope that EPA will fix this problem quickly in PSD and 111(d) regulations or even through a well-considered biogenic accounting framework.
“In the coming months, I look forward to working with the new Congress to help create policies that make businesses a partner in meeting the needs of society through sustainable regulations that balance environmental, social, and economic considerations.”
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The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) serves to advance a sustainable U.S. pulp, paper, packaging, 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 about $210 billion in products annually, and employs nearly 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.