WASHINGTON – The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Heidi Brock issued the following statement in opposition to the Maryland General Assembly's efforts to alter the state's definition of qualifying biomass in the renewable energy portfolio standard (RPS):
"The forest products industry in Maryland produces almost $1.8 billion in products annually, employing approximately 6,000 people who work in facilities that produce essential products. The bioenergy from forest products manufacturing residuals is a carbon neutral, renewable energy that provides enormous greenhouse gas emission reduction benefits - roughly the equivalent to removing 35 million cars from the road.
Unfortunately, the Maryland General Assembly recently passed legislation (SB 65) that redefines qualifying bioenergy under the state's renewable energy portfolio standard (RPS). Not only will this result in fragmented energy policy that could harm the most economically disadvantaged Maryland citizens, but it will also cause major price disruptions for Maryland's electricity grid when nearly one-quarter of the current energy sources are removed from eligibility. The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) believes RPS policies should be based on sound science and sustaining economic and business certainty. We encourage Governor Hogan to veto this shortsighted legislation to avoid unintended consequences to Maryland's environment, economy and taxpayers."
The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) serves to advance a sustainable U.S. pulp, paper, packaging, tissue and wood products manufacturing industry through fact-based public policy and marketplace advocacy. AF&PA member companies make products essential for everyday life from renewable and recyclable resources and are committed to continuous improvement through the industry’s sustainability initiative — Better Practices, Better Planet 2020. The forest products industry accounts for approximately four percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures nearly $300 billion in products annually and employs approximately 950,000 men and women. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $55 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 45 states. Visit AF&PA online at afandpa.org or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper.