Voluntary Commitment to Greenhouse Gas Reduction Negates Need for Regulation

U.S. fossil fuel and industrial process emissions declined 13.4 percent between 2007 and 2015, largely due to improved energy efficiency and shifts from coal to natural gas. The forest products industry has taken early actions to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, including the efficient production and use of large quantities of carbon-neutral biomass energy. Between 2005 and 2014, AF&PA members reduced GHG emissions from their facilities by 16 percent, surpassing their 15 percent reduction goal. Moreover, members have almost met the new 20 percent reduction goal they set, by achieving a 19.9 percent reduction between 2005 and 2016.

Market-driven and voluntary GHG reductions make burdensome regulations unnecessary. Nonetheless, some regional and state government policies are being considered or implemented across our nation to reduce GHG emissions.

Policy Recommendations:

  • GHG policies must balance environmental, social and economic concerns to ensure our nation’s economy remains globally competitive.
  • EPA should repeal the Clean Power Plan (CPP) in line with the president’s Executive Order.
  • States should not move forward with GHG regulations until the CPP reconsideration process is resolved.
  • The forest products industry’s use of biomass should be recognized as carbon neutral.