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Policy Update Week of January 10, 2011

EPA Action on Tailoring Rule: EPA defers regulation of
biomass emissions for three years

SAF, working with other forestry groups, has been urging EPA to pause and reassess science before regulating emissions from biomass the same as emissions from fossil fuels. This is a great victory for foresters and forestry in the US and SAF would like to thank all of our members that helped in these efforts. For more information go to: http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/4369C709163915B485257816005971BB


  1. SAF 2011 Convention Policy Symposium Call For Papers is OPEN--please submit your abstracts!

    The Forest Policy Track covers local, regional, national or international policy or program analysis. The track is designed for presentations based on qualitative or quantitative data analysis. Topics include:

    Implementation of an existing government program
    Impact of legislative or administrative policy initiatives Design of policies or programs
    Emerging trends in forest policy and law on biomass, carbon, climate change, and water quality and quantity

    Deadline: February 28th, 2011

    For more information please visit: http://www.safnet.org/natcon11/presenters/index.cfm

Last Week in Congress

  1. GOP Bills Would Curb EPA on Global Warming Battle
      The Washington Post, Published by Dina Cappiello of The Associated Press, January 6th

    House Republicans wasted no time Thursday in trying to block the Obama administration from acting to stem global warming. On their second day in power, GOP lawmakers introduced several bills that would hamstring the Environmental Protection Agency from moving forward with regulations to reduce heat-trapping pollution from factories and other sources that they say contributes to global warming. To read more of this article link to: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/06/AR2011010604839.html

  2. Rep. Markey Introduces ANWR Wilderness Bill
      Bloomberg, Published by Mary Pemberton of The Associated Press, January 6th

    Rep. Edward Markey on Wednesday reintroduced a bill to designate the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as a wilderness area. If successful, the move would put the refuge - and its estimated 11 billion barrels of recoverable oil - beyond the reach of oil companies perhaps forever. Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, has introduced his ANWR wilderness bill in every session of Congress since 2001. The bill would designate the refuge's oil-rich coastal plain as wilderness area. To read more of this article link to: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-06/rep-markey-introduces-anwr-wilderness-bill.html

This Week in Congress

  1. Capitol Hill Still Reeling From Tragedy
      Politico, Published by Laura McGann, January 13th

    Four days after a gunman killed six people, injured 14 others and rocked the Capitol Hill community, leaving one of its own in critical condition, normal is nowhere in sight for Congress. On Wednesday, Congress set aside planned business to take up an itinerary that pulled a shocked community between matters of the heart and those of basic physical security, with a string of events that sought to soothe mournful souls and rattled nerves. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0111/47528.html

National News

  1. EPA Grants Greenhouse-Gas Rule Exemption
      The Wall Street Journal, Published by Tennille Tracy, January 13th

    The Environmental Protection Agency is granting an exemption under its controversial greenhouse-gas requirements, saying that it will provide a three-year reprieve for facilities that burn wood chips and other biomass products to generate electricity. These facilities, often times power plants and paper makers, represent a small segment of the sectors that have to comply with the EPA's new greenhouse-gas regulations, which went into effect Jan. 2. To read more of this article link to: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703583404576079671129356558.html

  2. U.S. Carbon Emissions to Rise in 2012: EIA
      Reuters, Published by Timothy Gardner, January 11th

    U.S. emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide from fossil fuels are expected to fall in 2011 but rise in 2012 as the economy recovers, the government's energy forecaster said on Tuesday.U.S. fossil-fuel based carbon emissions should fall 0.6 percent this year to 5.587 million tonnes, the Energy Information Administration said in a monthly report. To read more of this article link to: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE70A6IY20110111

  3. Court lifts stay that delayed EPA rule in Texas
      The Associated Press, January 13th
    A federal appeals court on Wednesday lifted a brief stay granted to Texas to keep the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from taking over greenhouse gas permitting in Texas. Texas had asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Dec. 30 to block the EPA from taking over the permitting until the court could review the case. The appeals court on the same day temporarily blocked the EPA from taking over the permits as it was set to do on Jan. 2. To read more of this article link to: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-13/court-lifts-stay-that-delayed-epa-rule-in-texas.html

In the States: Colorado, Virginia and Wyoming

  1. Forest Boundary Dispute Back in Limbo
      Coloradoan, Published by Kevin Duggan, January 10th

    A long-running boundary dispute between some Crystal Lakes property owners and the U.S. Forest Service is still running. The end of the lame-duck session of Congress in December meant the death of a bill aimed at clearing up the matter and transferring 7 acres of land from Roosevelt National Forest to property owners who believed they owned the land for many years. To read more of this article link to: http://www.coloradoan.com/article/20110110/NEWS01/101100325

  2. Virginia Outlines 2011 Agriculture And Forestry Initiatives
      GovMonitor, January 7th

    Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore today announced Governor Bob McDonnell's agriculture and forestry initiatives for 2011. The announcement includes legislation and budget amendments that Secretary Haymore will advocate on behalf of the Administration, as well as long-term goals that he, along with the Governor, hopes to accomplish this year and over the next three years. To read more of this article link to: http://www.thegovmonitor.com/world_news/united_states/virginia-outlines-2011-agriculture-and-forestry-initiatives-44469.html

  3. Wyoming Forest Officials Address Pine Beetle Epidemic
      The Billings Gazette, Published by Martin Kidston, January 13th

    Forestry officials found another 314,000 acres of tree mortality across Wyoming in 2010, bringing to 3.1 million acres the total forest area lost since the mountain pine beetle epidemic appeared in the state in 1996. The U.S. Forest Service, along with the Wyoming State Forestry Division, shared the findings of a recent aerial survey Tuesday with members of the Wyoming Legislature. Tony Dixon, acting regional forester with the U.S. Forest Service's Rocky Mountain Region, said the mountain pine beetle still poses the most significant risk to forest health, and mitigating the impacts remains the agency's highest priority. To read more of this article link to: http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/wyoming/article_1390af40-fe0e-5c13-bb6f-e333fcfa1d00.html

Wildfire Update

  1. Vilsack Says EPA Biomass Boiler Decision Could Help Reduce Wildfire Threat
      The Colorado Independent, Published by David Williams, January 12th

    U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today praised the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for delaying for three years carbon dioxide emissions permits for biomass boilers that convert wood and other plant material into energy.

    "I strongly support EPA's announcement today that it is starting an expedited rulemaking so that it can defer for three years greenhouse gas permitting requirements for biomass and that it is also undertaking a scientific assessment of how emissions from biomass should be treated under the Clean Air Act," Vilsack said in a release. To read more of this article link to: http://coloradoindependent.com/71632/vilsack-says-epa-biomass-boiler-decision-could-help-reduce-wildfire-threat

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