Policy Update Week of March 21, 2011
- The Society of American Foresters, The Nature Conservancy and the National Alliance of Forest Owners comment on the Environmental Protection Agency's New Source Performance Standards Proposal
To read the testimony click here: http://www.eforester.org/fp/policy.cfm
- . SAF Encourages Attendance and/or Participation at the Forest Service Planning Rule Regional Roundtables
The Forest Service is hosting national and regional roundtables to provide public discussion on the Proposed Forest Service Land and Resource Management Planning Rule. SAF encourages the attendance and/or participation of our members to provide input from the forestry profession. To find out information on Regional Roundtables, the published Planning Rule in the Office ofFederal Register, meetings agendas, questions and answers and more, link to the Forest Service Planning Rule website The dates for the regional roundtable can be found here.
In the Administration
- EPA Issues Extension to Greenhouse Gas Reporting Deadline
U.S. EPA Newsroom, March 17th
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a final rule that extends the deadline for reporting 2010 data under the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reporting Program to September 30, 2011. The original deadline was March 31, 2011. EPA previously announced its intent to extend the deadline on March 1, 2011.
Under the GHG Reporting Program entities required to submit data must register with the electronic GHG reporting tool (e-GGRT) no later than 60 days before the reporting deadline. With this reporting deadline extension, the new deadline for registering with e-GGRT is August 1, 2011. To read more of this article link to:
- The U.S. Government Accountability Office released a report on "Climate Change Issues: Options for Addressing Challenges to Carbon Offset Quality"
To read this report link to: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-11-345
- Bingaman and Murkowski: What is Clean Energy?
IBT Times, Published by Mark Pabst, March 22nd
Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Jeff Bingaman (D-New Mexico) and the Committee's ranking Republican Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) released a white paper yesterday soliciting comment about President BarackObama's proposed Clean Energy Standard (CES). To read more of this article link to:
To read the CES white paper click here: http://energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=IssueItems..View&IssueItem_ID=7b61e406-3e17-4927-b3f4-d909394d46de
- USDA Invests $60M in 3 New Research Projects on Effects of Climate Change on Crops and Forests
The Washington Post, March 21st
The federal government is investing $60 million in three major studies on the effects of climate change on crops and forests to help ensure farmers and foresters can continue producing food and timber while trying to limit the impact of a changing environment. The three studies take a new approach to crop and climate research by bringing together researchers from a wide variety of fields and encouraging them to find solutions appropriate to specific geographic areas. One study will focus on Midwestern corn, another on wheat in the Northwest and a third on Southern pine forests. To read more of this article link to: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/usda-invests-60m-in-3-new-research-projects-on-effects-of-climate-change-on-crops-and-forests/2011/03/21/ABszW04_story.html
- Utah Counties File Lawsuit Over BLM Wilderness Policy
The New York Times, Published by Phil Taylor of GreenWire, March 23rd
A new Interior Department wilderness policy fails to allow coordination with local counties, breaks the terms of a 2003 settlement and threatens the continued production of oil and natural gas on public lands, according to a lawsuit filed yesterday by Utah counties against the federal government. The legal attack is the first, but likely not the last, to challenge a secretarial "wild lands" order finalized last month that requires the Bureau of Land Management to take stock of wilderness-quality lands and consider barring activities that would impair sensitive habitats, archaeological resources or natural solitude. To read more of this article link to: http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2011/03/23/23greenwire-utah-counties-file-lawsuit-over-blm-wilderness-60695.html
This Week in Congress
- The U.S. House of Representative is in recess until March 29th.
- The U.S. Senate is in recess until March 28th.
- Congress' Failure to Pass Spending Bill Creates Chaos in Agencies
The New York Times, Published by Emily Yehle of GreenWire, March 22nd
As federal agencies enter their sixth month without Congress approving a long-term spending bill, some employees are digging into their own pockets for everything from a spiral-bound notebook to an airplane ticket. Last week, Congress passed the fifth continuing resolution (CR) of this fiscal year, cutting about $6 billion from current spending. Lawmakers say a budget is forthcoming, but concern over a possible shutdown is palpable; 54 Republicans in the House voted against their own party's CR, with many claiming the cuts were not deep enough. To read more of this article link to:
- Budget Battle to Affect Pine Beetle Wars
Rapid City Journal, Published by Kevin Woster, March 21st
People fighting the pine beetle epidemic in the Black Hills are worried these days about both bugs and bucks.The federal budget is still unsettled, but short-term funding resolutions are already making cuts. And forest treatment efforts aimed at slowing the beetles' spread could be hurt by spending reductions or priorities that leave needed tree-thinning projects short of cash. To read more of this article link to: http://www.rapidcityjournal.com/news/article_547b2c04-535c-11e0-b8dd-001cc4c002e0.html
In the States: California and Oregon
- California's Bid to Curb Global Warming Could Soon Get Back on Track
The L.A. Times, Published by Margot Roosevelt, March 23rd
California's effort to curb global warming, which was put on hold by a court decision, will be able to proceed on schedule once officials conduct a new environmental review, according to attorneys analyzing the case.
A San Francisco Superior Court judge ruled that the California Air Resources Board failed to properly evaluate alternatives to the so-called cap-and-trade program, which would allow industries to purchase pollution allowances rather than cut their own carbon emissions. To read more of this article link to: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-climate-court-20110323,0,2026986.story
- Biomass Industry Makes Use of Forest Waste
East Oregonian, Published by Brian Addison, March 17th
Northeast Oregon's emerging woody biomass industry continues to grow and provide jobs throughout the region, helped along by government funding and tax credits. Government agencies, private business and nongovernmental organizations have partnered to create business opportunities in biomass, and several institutions in eastern Oregon have converted from fossil-fuel heating systems to biomass. To read more of this article link to: http://www.eastoregonian.com/news/northwest/fate_of_our_forest/biomass-industry-makes-use-of-forest-waste/article_fd20d7ca-50e9-11e0-8159-001cc4c03286.html
- Oregon Delegation Unites on County Payments
The Natural Resources Report, Published by Congressman Greg Walden
Members of Oregon's House congressional delegation, Reps. Greg Walden (R-Hood River), Peter DeFazio (D-Springfield), Kurt Schrader (D-Canby), Earl Blumenauer (D-Portland), and David Wu (D-Hillsdale) were joined by 49 of their colleagues today in sending a bipartisan letter to Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen urging the Budget Committee to accommodate a reauthorization of county payments in the FY 2012 House Budget Resolution. Funding county payments in FY 2012 would ensure rural counties have the resources to provide essential services like emergency services, health care, and schools while Congress works to find long-term funding solutions for timber dependent communities. To read more of this article link to: http://naturalresourcereport.com/2011/03/oregon-delegation-unites-on-county-payments/
Last Week in Congress
- House Passes Short-Term Budget Bill Amid GOP Split
USA Today, Published by Catalina Camia, March 15th
The U.S. House today passed another short-term bill to fund the federal government, but more than 50 fiscal and Tea Party conservatives defied GOP leaders on the vote.The temporary measure that funds the government expires Friday.The bill passed today is a stopgap measure, which includes $6 billion in cuts to government programs, that will run out April 8. The final vote was 271-158. To read more of this article link to: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/onpolitics/post/2011/03/republicans-tea-party-budget-spending-cuts-/1
- House Panel Rejects Measure Backing U.S. EPA's Finding on Climate Change
Bloomberg, Published by Kim Chipman, March 15th
A Republican-led House panel rejected a measure supporting the Obama administration's finding that the earth's climate is warming because of human activity. The House Energy and Commerce Committee voted 31-20 along party lines to turn down an amendment by Representative Henry Waxman, a California Democrat, to a measure that would block Environmental Protection Agency greenhouse-gas rules. The bill also rejects the agency's finding that carbon-dioxide emissions endanger the public. "This is science denial," Waxman, former chairman of the committee, said today after the vote. "It's not worthy of this committee." To read more of this article link to: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-15/house-panel-rejects-measure-backing-u-s-epa-s-finding-on-climate-change.html
- Representative Steven Pearce [R-NM2] introduced H.R. 1202: To restart jobs in the timber industry by providing for the protection of the Mexican Spotted Owl in sanctuaries.
To read more on this bill link to: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h112-1202
- Senator Ron Wyden [D-OR] introduced S.607: A bill to designate certain land in the State of Oregon as wilderness, to provide for the exchange of certain Federal land and non-Federal land, and for other purposes.
To read more on this bill link to:http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s112-607
- Senate Approves Stopgap Funding: Cuts Include $200 Million For Wildfire Suppression Efforts
The Wall Street Journal, Published by Janet Hook, March 17th
To read more of this article link to: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703818204576206831595914202.html
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