While the Pine Chemistry sector supports the use of renewable energy, policies regarding biomass or renewable resources should not disadvantage the Pine Chemistry sector. In the context of energy policy, there are efforts to mandate or incentivize renewable energy sources, which could include burning biomass to create energy. The forestry sector can be an important biomass source; however, it is imperative that state and federal policies regarding biomass or renewable resources not directly or indirectly disadvantage the Pine Chemistry sector’s materials. Diverting these Pine Chemistry resources as fuel will likely waste a renewable resource, could generate more greenhouse gases and could hurt an important part of the existing biorefining manufacturing infrastructure in the U.S. Unfortunately, government incentives that encourage the burning of biomass for bioenergy may deplete the supply of these valuable materials and prevent the Pine Chemistry sector from utilizing these environmentally friendly and important co-products.

The following are critical factors to consider about biomass energy policies:

  • It does not make social, environmental or economic sense to incentivize the indiscriminate burning of biomass materials that can have uses of more value to the economy. Doing so could negatively impact the Pine Chemistry sector, which could directly and indirectly impact thousands of jobs and impact an industry that produces environmentally friendly and affordable co-products that are used in a number of applications. Efforts to establish subsidies or mandates can distort efficient use of resources and create inequities in the marketplace.

  • It is particularly critical that the definition of biomass or renewable resources not include Pine Chemistry feedstocks – specifically black liquor soap, crude tall oil, turpentine, and sawdust.

  • Pine Chemistry is a renewable resource that should be used to make essential goods. Pine Chemistry co-products have a higher value as a renewable raw material than as a fuel. Generally speaking, raw materials should be used to their highest potential.

  • Market forces, not government subsidies or mandates, should determine the use of Pine Chemistry materials. There should be a level playing field for the use and application of Pine Chemistry feedstocks. The Pine Chemistry sector relies on these materials. Inappropriately diverting these renewable resources for fuel could have devastating consequences for the Pine Chemistry sector.

Actions Policymakers Can Take

Public policymakers can take the necessary steps to make sure that the Pine Chemistry sector continues to be an important industry. Policymakers can take action to ensure a level playing field for the Pine Chemistry sector, as well as for those groups that wish to burn tree co-products for energy.

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