Paper, Wood Products Manufacturers: Clean Power Plan Continues Uncertainty Regarding Biomass Energy

" EPA missed an important opportunity to clarify how biomass energy can be practically used by states to meet emission reduction goals." – Donna Harman, President and CEO, AF&PA.

Aug. 5, 2015 - American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Donna Harman and American Wood Council (AWC) President and CEO Robert Glowinski have issued the following statements expressing concern about the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final Clean Power Plan and the proposed Federal Plan released Monday.

Donna Harman, President and CEO, AF&PA: "While the final Clean Power Plan and proposed Federal Plan reaffirm the carbon benefits of bioenergy and forest products manufacturing residuals, EPA missed an important opportunity to clarify how biomass energy can be practically used by states to meet emission reduction goals. These residuals would have released CO2 to the atmosphere if they had not been used for energy, so the industry is simply harnessing their energy value and utilizing the full carbon cycle of biomass. EPA's lack of guidance and direction creates confusion and uncertainty for states and business investment, which hinders the competitiveness of America’s paper and wood products industry."

Robert Glowinski, President and CEO, AWC: "EPA’s Clean Power Plan imposes significant limits on how states can use biomass energy to meet their emission reduction goals. Under this plan, complete carbon neutrality depends on the absence of a current alternative market for the forest products manufacturing residuals; but it's unclear how a state can possibly make this determination. These barriers to the use of biomass energy discourage new investment to build or upgrade wood products facilities that could produce carbon benefits. Public policies should not construct artificial mandates that reduce our industry's ability to efficiently use manufacturing residuals for biomass energy.”

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 approximately $200 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 or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper.