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Policy Update Week of December 6, 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. EPA Issues Next Step for State Greenhouse Gas Permitting Programs
      EPA News Release, December 3rd

    Working with the states, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is moving forward with its plan to call on certain states to update their Clean Air Act implementation plans to cover greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These changes will ensure that beginning in January 2011 the largest industrial GHG emissions sources can receive permits. This action is part of EPA's common sense approach to GHG permitting outlined in the spring 2010 tailoring rule.

    EPA has identified 13 states that need to make changes to their plans, allowing them to issue permits that include GHG emissions. These states include: Ariz., Ark., Calif., Conn., Fla., Idaho, Kan., Ky., Neb., Nev., Ore., Texas, and Wyo. To read more of the EPA's statement link to: http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/e95624a938ff0225852577ee0077da88?OpenDocument

  2. EPA Asks for More Time on Incinerator Rules
      The Wall Street Journal, Published by Siobhan Hughes and Tennille Tracy, December 7th

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, facing industry complaints that rules to reduce emissions from boilers and solid-waste incinerators are too costly, on Tuesday asked a federal court for an extra year to finalize the rules.

    The EPA said it asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for permission to issue the rules by April 2012. Currently, it is under a court order to issue the rules by January 2011. To read more of this article link to: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703296604576005373856697598.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

  3. How The Deal Affects Taxpayers
      The Wall Street Journal, Published by Laura Saunders, December 7th

    President BarackObama called the bipartisan tax agreement announced on Monday a "framework." As yet there is no legislative language or even a comprehensive outline of the proposals, and its passage by Congress isn't assured.

    But its broad parameters do address a range of tax issues that have been in question for months or years. Here's how the various provisions could affect taxpayers. To read more of this article link to:

Last Week in Congress

  1. Congress Reconvened Tuesday November 30th.

This 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:

  2. Volcanoes, Copper and So Much More
      Politico, Published by Patrick Reis, December 7th

    A national volcano alert system and language allowing a controversial Arizona copper mine could be among the final bills Congress approves this year. The measures are two of the dozens of bills that Democrats may include in a massive omnibus that would create a host of new national parks, monuments and wilderness areas and pave the way for dozens of Western water projects. POLITICO obtained a draft version of the section circulated by Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.). To read more of this article link to: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/46058.html

  3. Rep. Upton Expected to Cross Final Hurdle to Energy Gavel With GOP Caucus Vote Today
      The New York Times, Published by Katie Howell of Greenwire, December 8th

    A jubilant Fred Upton last night reiterated his plans for the House Energy and Commerce Committee and urged his fellow Republicans to approve his nomination to be chairman. The Michigan Republican last night won the nod for the gavel, wrapping up a tight, four-man race that has been closely watched for weeks. To read more of this article link to:

National News

  1. Appropriators Must Stay Committed to a Clean Energy Future
      25X'25, December 2nd

    Reports coming down from Capitol Hill this week suggest some members of the Senate Appropriations Committee are planning to raid funding from 2008 Farm Bill energy programs to make up for deficits elsewhere. While the 25x'25 Alliance recognizes that federal budget writers face a daunting task of laying out a strong spending plan in the teeth of a nationwide recession, alliance member organizations - nearly 1,000 groups and companies across the country - could not be stronger in their conviction that farm energy programs are critical to America's security. To read more of this article link to: http://blog.25x25.org/?p=1974

  2. U.S. to Keep Emissions Goal
      Reuters, Published by Timothy Gardner, November 29th

    The United States will keep a pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions made last year perhaps with help from a domestic boom in cleaner-burning natural gas, Washington's lead negotiator said at the U.N. climate talks.

    At last year's climate talks in Copenhagen, U.S. President BarackObama pledged the United States would cut emissions in a range of 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. To read more of this article link to: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6AS66O20101129

  3. Proposed Wood-Certification Benchmarks for LEED Fail to Win Enough Support
      Eco Home, Published by Craig Webb, December 7th

    Proposed benchmark standards to determine when a wood-certification groups would their programs qualify for points in the LEED rating system failed to win the required two-thirds approval from a special group of USGBC members, the organization announced Monday. The 55% "yes" to 42% "no" vote represents the rejection of several years' worth of work by a USGBC committee and guarantees even more fighting over one of green construction's most bitterly debated issues. To read more of this article link to:

  4. AWC Statement on EPA Request for Extension to Re-propose Boiler MACT Rule for Further Comment
      American Wood Council, December 7th

    American Wood Council President Robert Glowinski today issued the following statement on EPA's request for an extension to re-propose and reissue the Boiler MACT rule for further comment.

    "The Environmental Protection Agency's decision to request an extension for re-proposal of the Boiler MACT rule is a hopeful sign about the impact of the information that EPA has gathered thus far and their recognition of the need to take the time necessary for an effective rule. We support their request to the Court for 15 additional months to re-propose the rule for further comments.

    "Studies have been publicly released by organizations that detailed the negative impact the proposed rule would have had on those industries that run boilers. EPA gathered thousands of pages of comments on the proposed rule, and I am hopeful that those have resonated and prompted their request.

    "With unemployment hovering around 10 percent, and continuing tough economic times, regulations such as Boiler MACT have real-world implications on jobs and the supporting communities. I am optimistic that EPA's decision to take the necessary time for such a complex rule is a positive step toward achieving a regulation that preserves jobs while protecting the environment."

In the States: Iowa and Washington

  1. ISU Aims to Burn Wood in Coal Plant
      Des Moines Register, Published by Dan Piller, December 3rd

    A western Iowa entrepreneur hopes his supply of wood chips or pellets can turn the Iowa State University power plant from an ugly duckling to a swan.

    The 104-year-old ISU plant burns not just coal, but a higher-sulfur variety from Illinois and Kentucky. The boilers were designed decades ago to burn Iowa coal that may have two or three times more sulfur than the Wyoming coal used most commonly by utilities.

    The ISU plant has kept itself within environmental regulations by adding limestone to the coal fuel. To read more of this article link to:

  2. Foresters: Peninsula Can Support Biomass
      The Peninsula Daily News, Published by Rob Ollikainen, December 6th

    Biomass proponents said Clallam County forests can sustain a proposed cogeneration plant at the Nippon paper mill and then some. Nippon Paper Industries USA Inc. plans to generate 20 megawatts of electricity -- and heat for its Port Angeles mill -- by burning wood waste from logging sites and sawmills to produce steam and electricity.

    "We have a ton of biomass," said Tom Swanson of the North Olympic Chapter of the Society of American Foresters, who spoke at the Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce luncheon Monday at the Port Angeles CrabHouse Restaurant. "Let's put it to use. Forest residual biomass recovery is economically viable, it's ecologically sustainable and carbon neutral." To read more of this article link to: http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2010312059975

Wildfire Update

  1. Wildfire Season on Track to be Quietest Since 1998
      USA Today, Published by Doyle Rice, December 8th

    The USA is on track for its quietest wildfire year since 1998, and firefighter deaths are the lowest on record, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

    "Right now, we're at 3.3 million acres burned," says Rick Ochoa, fire weather program manager of the fire center in Boise. To read more of this article link to:

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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