The Forest Resources Association has alerted us to a harmful amendment to the immigration bill currently being considered by the Senate. The amendmen will greatly harm Reforestation Contractors who rely on seasonal, itinerant guestworkers from Central America and Mexico for the handplanting of trees by adding additional requirements to an already burdensome process. The amendment is scheduled to be introduced either today or tomorrow.
The Senate passed its version of the Farm Bill - the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013 – on June 10. The $955 billion legislative package set aside $1.1 billion in mandatory funding over the course of 10 years for renewable and clean energy programs.
Last week, at the SFPA Expo 2013, I had the opportunity to talk to many in the industry about the SYP lumber market and the wild ride that we’ve been on in 2013.
Let me first say that the general mood of the participants was much more positive than the past few years, though somewhat restrained in light of the recent market downturns. Of course, everyone is disappointed that the rise in housing starts that occurred between October 2012 and March 2013 could not be sustained.
Legislation Florida Governor Rick Scott signed last week repealed Florida’s Renewable Fuel Standard. Meanwhile, Representative Bob Goodlatte (R –VA) has introduced two bills aimed to eliminate or severely limit the federal Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). Similar bills aimed to limit or rescind ethanol mandates are under consideration by lawmakers in Maine.
Wood pellet production is underway at Enviva's newest facility in Northampton, North Carolina. Demand for wood pellets continues to spur port expansions. Two new power stations fueled by wood biomass have come online in recent weeks.