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Policy Update Week of December 13, 2010


  1. POSTED--Convention Presentation on the Ninth Circuit Decision on Clean Water Act and Forest Roads by Greg Corbin, Partner, Stoel Rives LLP

    To view the presentation click here: http://www.eforester.org/fp/policy.cfm

  2. SAF, Yankee Division and Massachusetts's SAF Comment on Massachusetts Draft Biomass Regulations

    To read SAF's submission click here: http://www.eforester.org/fp/positionstatements.cfm#bioenergy

  3. SAF has launched a new Application for Smart Phones (i.e. Droid, iPhone). The link to purchase it is on our homepage. It features common forestry formulas including interest calculations, basal area, growth percentage, relative spacing, log scales acres/hectare conversions and more.

    For more information on the application click here: http://www.eforester.org/apps/

In the Administration

  1. Court Denies Attempt to Block EPA Climate Rules
      Reuters, Published by Ayesha Rascoe, December 11th

      A U.S. federal court on Friday denied an appeal by industry groups to block the Environmental Protection Agency from imposing greenhouse gas regulations early next year.The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said opponents of EPA's planned regulations did not meet the "stringent standards" necessary for the court to stop the rules while various lawsuits proceed against the EPA's climate-related actions. To read more of this article link to: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6BA02220101211

Last Week in Congress

  1. GOP Taps Hal Rogers for House Appropriations Committee Chair
      Politico, Published by SimmiAujla, December 7th

    House Republicans have tapped Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) to be chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, setting up an old bull appropriator with a history of earmarking to deliver on the anti-spending tea party platform that carried the GOP to victory this fall.

    The House GOP Steering Committee selected him for the powerful position Tuesday. The entire Republican conference is expected to confirm his bid Wednesday. To read more of this article link to: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/46096.html

This Week in Congress

  1. US Senate Approves Key Renewable Energy Tax Incentives
      The Wall Street Journal, Published by Cassandra Sweet, December 15th

    The U.S. Senate on Wednesday approved a tax bill that, among other things, extends for another year key tax incentives for the renewable power and ethanol industries. The $858 billion bill, which extends Bush-era tax cuts for two years, moves next to the House of Representatives.

    U.S. wind, solar and other renewable energy industries have pressed lawmakers to continue a program that allows solar and wind power facilities to obtain federal grants equal to a tax credit worth 30% of the cost of building a new facility. The program was established in the 2009 economic stimulus package to rescue the U.S. renewable energy market from near collapse, after lenders that had previously provided financing in return for developers' tax credits abandoned the sector amid the financial crisis. To read more of this article link to: http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20101215-712342.html

  2. National Review: How The Omnibus Fell
      NPR, Published by Robert Costa and Andrew Stiles, December 17th

    As he stepped into a Capitol elevator late Thursday, bundled up in preparation for the winter winds, Sen. Mitch McConnell cracked a thin smile. For the low-key leader of Senate Republicans, good spirits were certainly in order. Minutes before, his cross-aisle counterpart, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, had sounded a death knell for the much-maligned $1.1 trillion omnibus spending package - the pork-packed keystone of the Democratic lame-duck agenda. To read more of this article link to: http://www.npr.org/2010/12/17/132132081/national-review-how-the-omnibus-fell

National News

  1. Pew: Clean Power Industry Worth Trillions by 2020
      Renewable Energy World. Com, December 13th

    Looking into the next decade for clean energy deployment gives perspective on where an industry is headed and if Pew Charitable Trusts' recently released report on global clean power is correct, the clean energy industry is looking at incredible growth.

    The report, Global Clean Power: A $2.3 Trillion Opportunity, released last week examined projected private investment in wind, solar, biomass/energy from waste, small hydro, geothermal and marine energy projects. Data for the report was compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. To read more of this article link to:

  2. Lawmakers Must Take Long-Term View in Support of Renewable Energy
      25X25', December 16th

    Congress this week exercised good sense by avoiding a meltdown of the renewable energy industry and adopting a tax package that provides a significant number of policy incentives and funding mechanisms required to at least keep the nation on the path to a new energy future. The Senate passed the tax package by a large margin on Wednesday, followed by the House Thursday. To read more of this article link to: http://blog.25x25.org/?p=1989

  3. Walden, Other Lawmakers Seek EPA Changes to Biomass Rules
      East Oregonian, December 19th

    Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., is among a bipartisan group of U.S. House members asking the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider its stance on biomass power. The EPA did not consider biomass a renewable power source in its first draft of rules overseeing greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, biomass is considered in the same category as fossil fuels. To read more of this article link to: http://www.eastoregonian.com/news/article_2a113e80-0b6e-11e0-9c5b-001cc4c002e0.html

  4. A Different Omnibus
      The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Published by Jamie Dupree,
      December 20th

    Last week, an Omnibus Budget bill died in the Senate. It was not the end of efforts by Democrats to put together wide-ranging legislation, as they unveiled a new Omnibus dealing with public lands bills.

    This 1,003 page bill was given the nice name of "America's Great Outdoors Act of 2010," which certainly doesn't sound like something that might be opposed in the waning days of a Congressional session.

    "These are bipartisan bills," said Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) in a statement issued on Friday. "There is nothing divisive about protecting historic battlefields, improving our most critical water sources, or making sure that our best wildlife habitat remains wild and healthy." To read more of this article link to: http://blogs.ajc.com/jamie-dupree-washington-insider/2010/12/20/a-different-omnibus/?cxntfid=blogs_jamie_dupree_washington_insider

In the States: California

  1. State Regulators Approve the Nation's Biggest Cap-And-Trade Plan
      The New York Times, Published by Debra Kahn of ClimateWIre,
      December 17th

    California regulators voted yesterday to approve the most comprehensive U.S. cap yet on greenhouse gases and create the biggest carbon market in the country.

    The California Air Resources Board voted 9-1 to approve the state's cap-and-trade plan, the keystone of its effort to reduce emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 under A.B. 32 and the nation's first economywide, market-based greenhouse gas scheme in the absence of federal action. California has the world's eighth-largest economy and the highest gross state product in the United States, at $1.7 trillion in 2009. To read more of this article link to: http://www.nytimes.com/cwire/2010/12/17/17climatewire-state-regulators-approve-the-nations-biggest-84198.html

Wildfire Update

  1. Southwestern Forests at Increased Risk from Climate Warming and Drought
      U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, December 13th

    Slower-growing trees. More severe fires. More bark beetle outbreaks. A lot more dead trees. And big changes in where various tree species are dominant in southwestern U.S. forests.

    This is the worrisome forecast suggested for southwestern forests if temperature and aridity rise as projected, according to research published today by U.S. Geological Survey and other federal and university researchers in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. To read more of this article link to: http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=2663

Additional Information:

. The SAF National Office serves as the voice of professional forestry through its active role in several forestry, natural resources, and agricultural groups and coalitions…

25 x '25 (www.25x25.org) - SAF is a proud member of 25 x '25 and currently sits on its Sustainability Working Group. The goal of 25 x '25 is to have 25% of our energy needs being fulfilled by renewable resources from our nation's farms, ranches, forests, and other lands by 2025.

Continental Dialogue on Non-Native Forest Insects and Diseases
(www.continentalforestdialogue.org) - SAF sits on the organization's Steering Committee and assists in its mission of "cultivating and catalyzing collaborative action among diverse interests to abate the threat to North American forests from non-native insects and diseases." The 4th meeting summary of the Continental Dialogue on Non-Native Forest Insects and Diseases is now available online at: http://www.continentalforestdialogue.org/documents/meetings/2008-11/index.html

Additional groups in which SAF plays a role include:

Core Group of the Roundtable on Sustainable Forests"

Forest Carbon Education Group. The FCEG's Guidance Document on Managed Forests in Climate Change policy can be viewed on the SAF Policy Webpage:

Wildland Fire Leadership Council

Western Governors' Association Forest Health Advisory Committee

About the Policy Update:

Disclaimer: The Society of American Foresters does not necessarily endorse the views expressed in the news items and/or links to additional information that appear in the Policy Update.

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