6 Jan 2008, 9:23pm
Federal forest policy
by admin

Revise the 2007 Energy Act

The Oregon Chapter of the National Association of Forest Service Retirees has written a letter to our Congressional Delegation regarding the language in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, in particular those clauses that eliminate federal forests as a source of biofuels material [here, here, here].

Full text:

Dear Representative Hooley:

I am writing to you with concerns about the recently enacted Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Specifically, Sec. 201. DEFINITIONS (1), (1) RENEWABLE BIOMASS, disturbs me. I interpret it to mean that dead and dying material and forest thinnings on federal forest lands are not to be considered as renewable biomass. The attached letter written by a friend and colleague in Colorado provides more detail about this issue, and our shared concerns.

The conditions he describes as existing in Colorado are duplicated in many areas of Oregon. To eliminate the use of woody material from federal lands for production of biofuels borders on the irrational. There is no scientific or social justification for a definition eliminating federal lands as a source of material for the production of alternate fuels.

As you well know the national forests and BLM managed forests are by statute charged with the sustained production of renewable resources for the public welfare. As my colleague points out, there are many valid scientific, economic and social reasons for aggressive utilization of dead material and forest thinning.

I urge you to take necessary legislative actions to revise this misguided section of the Energy Independence Act of 2007, and to encourage the use of federal forests as a source of alternate fuels. The utilizations of forest biomass for biofuels will also improve forest health, protect watersheds, aid carbon control, reduce risk of fire damage, improve fish and wildlife habitat, and help improve the economic wellbeing of rural communities in and adjacent to the federal forests.

Your assistance is appreciated:

John F. Marker, Director
National Association of Forest Service Retirees

cc: Oregon Congressional Delegation

If any of the Delegation produce responses, we will post them too.

7 Jan 2008, 12:48pm
by Mike

Deputy Under Secretary of Agriculture Melissa Simpson has sent a letter to Congress regarding the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The Dept of Ag has “strong concerns” about the exclusion of USFS biomass from bioenergy subsidies. Full text [here].

7 Jan 2008, 1:01pm
by Mike

-maybe the idea of discouraging any utilization from the federal lands was the objective-

I do not give the Congress that much intelligence credit. Their concern was not federal lands directly. This was a “feel good” bill that was designed to reward monopolies. USFS woody biomass was excluded to reduce supply competition for ethanol corn farmers.

The whole concept of turning food into gasoline has numerous flaws, but a handful of big ag operators think if they can corner the market and receive obscene subsidies from taxpayers, they will get rich as kings.

They might be right. Congress is up for auction to the highest bidders. Kind of like a Nevada brothel.

Our National Energy Policies are a joke. It might be better if we had no such policies at all, but just let the market function.

Our National Forest Policies are worse than a joke, though. We really do need stewardship rather than catastrophic megafires.

8 Jan 2008, 3:16pm
by Tallac

Mike, The Energy Act of 2007 is a joke indeed. Why biomass to energy from our National Forests was not included is confounding.

Tahoe has also considered the idea for years and always runs into the same old stumbling blocks: enviros, transportation, storage, particulates, etc., etc., but it can be done. A local study confirms that it will work if the “market” is allowed to do its thing, along with some minor changes to the draconian rules.


No doubt that Congress is monied by special interests and it might be another 30 years before we can somewhat achieve more energy independence.

Government at its WORST. Very saddening that WE, THE PEOPLE aren’t allowed to solve problems with ALL of OUR alternatives NOW.

Sorry for the rant and shouting, but I’m a little ticked off. That, and I’m a tired from removing many feet of global warming (heavy snow) in my neighborhood for the last 4 days. HA

On a lighter note, you might find this interesting:


Hope you had a good Christmas and looking forward to a better New Year.

8 Jan 2008, 4:22pm
by Mike


All your rants are welcome here.

PS - I told you the snow would happen. It’s Donner party time! Pass the hot sauce.

15 Jan 2008, 3:12pm
by Al

Not related to forests, but the Act also excludes biofuels used in ocean-going transports from consideration in meeting its quotas. One would think that any use of biofuels in place of fossil fuels should count towards saving the planet, but I guess the folks in DC know better…



web site

leave a comment

  • Colloquia

  • Commentary and News

  • Contact

  • Follow me on Twitter

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Meta