By Donna Harman
President & CEO
Conveying first-hand experience in person is powerful. That’s why we invited top industry leaders to bring their policy concerns directly to the Administration and Congress on May 3 and May 4. CEO and Board Chair Linda Massman and CEOs Mark Kowlzan, Mike Doss and Mike Grimm joined us at meetings with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, six Senate offices, three House offices and a luncheon for Senator Debbie Stabenow.
With more than 900,000 employees in rural and urban communities across 45 states, our industry is the face of U.S. manufacturing. And, we put that compelling story front and center with data and statistics on how smarter regulations, comprehensive tax reform and efficient transportation and trade policies will support innovation, growth and job creation. We all want to achieve those shared goals and believe they are possible.
As luck would have it, our visiting CEOs witnessed just such a victory. As we moved between meetings, Congress voted to pass the fiscal year 2017 Omnibus Appropriations bill – legislation that includes language clarifying federal regulatory policy to reflect the carbon-neutrality of forest-based biomass. This is a significant step toward resolution of regulatory uncertainty over the treatment of biogenic carbon dioxide emissions and a major victory, as we have been working for six years to undo the U.S. government’s 2010 reversal of its historic position in support of carbon neutrality. This positive industry outcome would not have been possible without the team effort and hard work of so many. Thanks all around.
We’re not stopping there, however. We’re eager to see more positive results. On June 14 and 15, we’ve invited industry representatives to join us for more meetings with Members of the Administration, House and Senate. We’ll also be holding our summer board meeting at that time. If you’d like additional information, please contact Julie Landry, Director of Government Affairs at 202-463-2465.