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EPA rule jeopardizes 130 renewable energy projects

December 17, 2010

EPA Tailoring Rule Jeopardizes Renewable Energy Investment, Jobs, Production Goals
National Alliance of Forest Owners

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A newly released economic impact study finds that the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Title V Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule” jeopardizes over 130 renewable energy projects, between 11,000 and 26,000 green jobs, and $18 billion in capital investment across the country. The risk of reduced capacity also could prevent as many as 30 states from meeting national renewable energy targets.

The study, commissioned by the National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO) and conducted by Forisk Consulting, a nationally respected market analysis firm, provides the most recent example of the need to amend the Tailoring Rule’s treatment of woody biomass before the rule is implemented on January 2, 2011.

“The Tailoring Rule is a powerful deterrent to forest biomass energy investments and job opportunities,” NAFO President and CEO David P. Tenny said of the study’s findings. “We’re already seeing the economic impact of the Tailoring Rule, as renewable energy projects are delayed or stopped altogether due to regulatory uncertainty. Left unchanged, the Tailoring Rule threatens the long-term viability of the biomass energy sector which, in turn, undermines the renewable energy goals of the Administration and Congress.”

The study finds that the regulatory uncertainty created by the EPA has contributed to stalled investment in at least 23 near-term projects representing 1,519 megawatts of potential electrical capacity while noting that developers of a number of additional projects affected by the rule have chosen to remain anonymous.

Dr. Brooks Mendell, the lead author of the study, cited the conflict between renewable energy goals and the Tailoring Rule, “Pre-Tailoring Rule projections suggest that up to 19 states would be unable to satisfy a minimum renewable electricity standard of 15% by 2021. Taking into account impacts on investment in wood bioenergy projects, particularly in wood-rich states and regions, implementation of the Tailoring Rule could leave up to 30 states unable to meet renewable energy goals.”

The Forisk analysis complements a recent study released by scientists at the University of Washington concluding that the treatment of biomass under the Tailoring Rule will promote the continued use of fossil fuels, increase greenhouse gas emissions from national forests and jeopardize U.S. jobs in the forest products industry (see www.corrim.org/pubs/reports.asp).

It also confirms concerns raised by 113 U.S. scientists in a letter to Congress opposing the Tailoring Rule’s treatment of biomass energy because of its inconsistency with sound science and its negative impact on the development of new emission reducing biomass energy facilities (See www.nafoalliance.org/scientists).

A bipartisan group of Congressional lawmakers along with state and local political leaders across the country are urging the EPA to amend the Tailoring Rule’s treatment of woody biomass energy before the rule takes effect on January 2, 2011.

The one page summary and the full economic impact study can be found here: www.nafoalliance.org/impact-study.

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NAFO is an organization of private forest owners committed to advancing federal policies that promote the economic and environmental values of privately-owned forests at the national level. NAFO membership encompasses more than 79 million acres of private forestland in 47 states. Working forests in the U.S. support 2.5 million jobs. View NAFO’s interactive map to see the economic impact of America’s working forests.

Forisk Consulting provides research and educational services to executives and analysts making decisions related to timber REITs, timberlands, and wood-using energy and manufacturing facilities. For more information about Forisk, visit .

  
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