Obama's EPA Targets Missouri's $1.69 Billion Timber Industry

The latest target of Obama’s EPA is the Missouri timber industry. New government rules will devastate the $1.69 billion industry.
Missouri News Horizon reported:

Missouri timber producers and farmers, stung by the downturn in the housing industry, thought they could see light at the end of the tunnel with new advances in technology, and an emphasis in renewable energy.

Now it turns out that light might be a train.

In its most recent ruling on green house gasses, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reclassified wood used in energy generation, or woody biomass as it is referred to, the same as it classifies coal. According to the Rule, EPA will count biomass carbon dioxide emissions the same as fossil fuel emissions in permitting programs under the Clean Air Act.

Originally, EPA’s proposed tailoring rule recommended that CO2 emissions from the combustion of biomass should not be counted.

“(The EPA) changed the rule at the last minute,” said Steve Jarvis, executive director of the Missouri Forest Products Association. “All throughout the hearing and rule-making process, there was not even a word about regulating green house gas emissions from anything other than those produced from fossil fuel production.”

“This would be devastating to the Missouri timber industry,” Jarvis said.

In 2007, the forest industry contributesd $1.69 billion dollars to the state’s economy, according to the Missouri Department of Economic Development…

…Currently woody biomass, generally sawdust and the residue of scrub timber, is used predominantly by sawmill operators to heat kilns where timber that is harvested for commercial wood products is dried.

“The forest products industry across the country produces between two-thirds and three-fourths of its own energy,” Jarvis said. “We’re nearly energy self-sufficient, and yet these rules would force us to stop using wood by-products for energy.”

Jarvis said if the EPA rules go into effect, saw mills would be forced to change their fuel for the kilns, generally converting to natural gas or electric. He said the conversion would be too costly for many operators and cause them to go out of business.

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