Omnibus Bill Forestry Provisions

Just received a press release from the Forest Resources Association:

Omnibus Legislative Overview- (Passed House awaiting a Senate vote and the Presidents signature)

H-2B Cap Relief

 We have succeeded in attaining nearly the same language as last year related to raising the cap of the H-2B program.

·         The bill allows the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor, the authority to raise the H-2B cap when he determines that there is an economic need. 

·         It limits the total number of H-2B workers to that may enter the U.S. during fiscal 2018 to 129,547, the number of new and returning H-2B workers admitted to the U.S. in fiscal 2007(the highest year).

·         Once the bill becomes law, we must work with the Administration to encourage the Secretary of Homeland Security to implement this provision more quickly than last year and to consider authorizing a much larger number of visas than they did last year. 

Fire Funding/Federal Forest Management Reform

 ·         The $1.3 billion FY 18 omnibus spending deal includes provisions that would establish a fund of more than $2 billion a year, which would increase modestly over a 10-year period. The fund could be tapped when the cost of wildfires exceeds the 10-year average cost of wildfires, which would be set at the 2015 level — an approach pushed by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho).

·         That arrangement wouldn’t take effect until 2020, however, meaning current law would remain in effect through 2019.

·         On the forest management side, the deal includes categorical exclusions from the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for hazardous fuels reduction on areas up to 3,000 acres. Lawmakers also opened the way to more 20-year stewardship contracts, in which the Forest Service collaborates with states on forest management projects.

·         Timber companies would also see an easier process for repairing and rebuilding access roads in some areas of national forests.

·         The agreement also includes language to limit the effect of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ 2015 ruling in Cottonwood Environmental Law Center v. Forest Service. That case forced the agency to consult more closely with the Fish and Wildlife Service on forest projects that might affect endangered species.

Biomass Carbon Neutrality

The wording maintaining the definition of forest biomass as carbon neutral was approved and extended through September 30, 2018.   This is good, but we continue to seek language that will preserve the concept of biomass carbon neutrality in perpetuity.  


35 thoughts on “Omnibus Bill Forestry Provisions”

  1. “The wording maintaining the definition of forest biomass as carbon neutral was approved and extended through September 30, 2018. This is good, but we continue to seek language that will preserve the concept of biomass carbon neutrality in perpetuity. ”

    There ya go, a bought and paid for “definition” proving money talks in Congress — even while science balks at this industrial redefinition of reality.

      • Sharon,
        We know “science”, like congress, crooks and collaborationists, get corrupted by money. We know the failed social, ecological and economic policy of the last 40 years driven by neoliberal world views are directly attributable to our descent into collective misery and planetary existential crisis.
        You and the industry group Forest Resources Association are definitely on the same page. Profess, deny and defend what you want, you’re still an outlier in climate science and carbon accounting.

        Consensus of the uncorrupted matters.

        • Ah.. people who disagree with you are by definition corrupted. I am getting no money from anyone (except generous people who donate to this blog but no one from any organization) and my federal pension. As my old boss Tom Mills used to say “reasonable people could disagree…”. You could also argue that many scientists are unduly influenced by fear of being turned on by their peers if they challenge the preferred narrative of their discipline. Is that corruption? No, wisdom.

          • “I am getting no money from anyone (except generous people who donate to this blog but no one from any organization) ”

            Whoa, Sharon, I am getting deja vu. Again, I invite you to support your Straw-man argument suggesting I accused you of receiving money on behalf of your climate science and other outlier biases such as carbon accounting of biomass. I know too well you’ve already made a taxpayer-paid career of defending, apologizing, and denying on behalf of a Forest Service “Family” with an undeniable record of domestic violence.

            The violence in that “Family” is well documented: violence against public forests and laws; against agency women; against agency men; and regardless of gender, the violence of retaliation against countless principled whistleblowers attempting to reveal the line officer perpetrators’ culture of corruption across our NFS.

            A response is justified when you defend your use of the same denial, obfuscation, and equivocation strategy of the tobacco industry, timber industry, mining industry, and the behemoth transnational oil & gas corporations.

            Exxon, et al. has documents generated by their own scientists admitting in 1981 the likelihood of unregulated fossil fuel emissions will result in the planetary climate chaos we presently endure. Soon after, Exxon defunded their research and used the same PR tactics of denial, obfuscation, and equivocation as the tobacco industry had practiced. We know how all that turned out for hundreds of thousands of victims of lung cancer. Now, consider an entire planet.

            You wrote,”You could also argue that many scientists are unduly influenced by fear…”

            No Sharon, you could argue (in fact you ARE arguing) you’ve heroically surmounted your fear of their hypothetical fear. Congratulations on that. But corruption happens everywhere, and this results in outcomes worth mentioning in discussions here and elsewhere. So that’s quite a stretch to dismiss the existence of corruption in politics and science and bureaucracy and call that “wisdom.”

            I think there exists wisdom in the fear that the present state of capture of the EPA, by its Administrator, Scott Pruitt, will result in tragic consequences of his tenure. So does, the American Academy of Pediatrics when Pruitt denied the petition of a ban on chlorpyrifos.

            So does, “William Ruckelshaus, the first and fifth EPA Administrator under Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan” who, “described(Pruitt’s) ideological opposition to the scientific consensus on climate change as a national “threat”, and that “lives will be sacrificed” with further inaction.”(Wiki)

            Also according to Wiki:
            “As Oklahoma Attorney General, Pruitt sued the EPA at least 14 times. Regulated industry companies or trade associations who were financial donors to Pruitt’s political causes were co-parties in 13 of these 14 cases. These cases included suing to block the anti-climate change Clean Power Plan four times, challenging mercury pollution limits twice, ozone pollution limits once, fighting the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule and the Clean Water Rule,[140] as well as fighting regulations on methane emissions.[28]”

            Even with a legal record of losses like that, as they say, “the fix is in” for the Environmental Protection Agency. Sure enough, he resumed his attacks on the environment and the agency which includes the word, “Protection.” Such as, hiring an ex-banker with no environmental experience to head the Superfund program — a friend who, ” had just received a lifetime ban from working in banking, his career until then, due to “unfitness to serve”.[116] (Wiki has far too much evidence to list here, but its sheer scope and magnitude is spellbinding. )

            Corruption? What corruption?

            According to Inside Climate

            “Exxon’s Own Research Confirmed Fossil Fuels’ Role in Global Warming Decades Ago”
            “Top executives were warned of possible catastrophe from greenhouse effect, then led efforts to block solutions.”

            Congratulations for bravery against all odds Sharon: you’re an outlier of outliers — an outlier of even the findings of former Exxon’s Scientific Staff.

            The problem is, if you are wrong, (and according to an international scientific consensus you are), there’s a lot more at stake than your pride in being an outlier and defender of the suicidal extractivist economics of the neoliberal project and its worldview.

            I admit to succumbing to a substantial fear shared by that of an international scientific consensus. I fear Anthropogenic Climate Disruption with, “Irreversible and Catastrophic” consequences.

  2. I agree; claiming biomass is carbon neutral is scientifically oxymoronic and politically regressive.

    Looking at the “Recommended Comment Considerations” on the right margin, putting the Forest Resources Association’s absurd post here is neither true nor helpful. Whether or not it is kind is rather subjective, but that criteria did prevent me from ranting further.

      • It looks like Mearns is looking only at pellet transport to Europe in terms of biomass fired electricity. It seems to me that that is a subset of biomass use for electricity, which is also a subset of biomass used for energy.

        • Note: Slash piles are generally NOT used for biomass. The fuel is too dirty to meet air quality standard for stationary sources. A report from Chatham House in the UK highlights the fact that burning slash piles for energy is impractical because the slash is too dirty, and using mill residue for bioenergy will increase GHG emissions if the mill residues are diverted from alternative end uses such as particle board (which would store the carbon instead of emitting it).

          The first assumption is that woody biomass emissions are part of a natural cycle in which, over time, forest growth balances the carbon emitted by burning wood for energy. In fact, since in general woody biomass is less energy dense than fossil fuels, and contains higher quantities of moisture and less hydrogen, at the point of combustion burning wood for energy usually emits more greenhouse gases per unit of energy produced than fossil fuels.

          [M]ill residues can also be used for wood products such as particleboard; if diverted instead to energy, this will raise carbon concentrations in the atmosphere. The current high levels of use of mill residues mean that this source is unlikely to provide much additional feedstock for the biomass energy industry in the future (or, if it does, it will be at the expense of other wood-based industries).

          Many of the models used to predict the impacts of biomass use assume that mill and forest residues are the main feedstock used for energy, and biomass pellet and energy companies tend to claim the same, though they often group ‘low-grade wood’ with ‘forest residues’, although their impact on the climate is not the same. Evidence suggests, however, that various types of roundwood are generally the main source of feedstock for large industrial pellet facilities. Forest residues are often unsuitable for use because of their high ash, dirt and alkali salt content.

          Policies should also ensure that subsidies do not encourage the biomass industry to divert raw material (such as mill residues) away from alternative uses (such as fibreboard), which have far lower impacts on carbon emissions.

          Forest residues (or ‘slash’) are the parts of harvested trees that are left in the forest after log products have been removed, including stumps, tops and small branches, and pieces too short or defective to be used. These can amount to as much as 40–60 per cent of the total tree volume. Sometimes forest residues may be burnt as waste, but more frequently they are left to rot in the forest or at the roadside. They can be used for energy and can be made into pellets, but this can cause problems in biomass plants (particularly when co-fired with coal) because of their high ash, dirt and alkali salt content, which accelerates corrosion of the boilers.

          The use of woody biomass for energy cannot be considered to be automatically carbon-neutral under all circumstances, though most policy frameworks treat it as though it is. In reality, carbon dioxide and methane will be emitted from the combustion of woody biomass (generally at higher levels than from the fossil fuels it replaces) and from its supply chain of harvesting, collecting, processing and transport. In addition, where the feedstock derives from harvesting whole trees, net carbon emissions will increase from the foregone carbon sequestration that would have occurred had the trees been left growing.
          Some types of biomass feedstock can be carbon-neutral, at least over a period of a few years, including in particular sawmill residues. These are wastes from other forest operations that imply no additional harvesting, and if otherwise burnt as waste or left to rot would release carbon to the atmosphere in any case. … If mill residues are diverted from use as wood products to use as energy, net carbon emissions will be higher as a result.
          Policies providing financial and regulatory support to woody biomass should discriminate between the different feedstocks on this basis. It cannot make sense to support practices that raise greenhouse gas concentrations over the short, medium and sometimes long term. Yet this is precisely what most existing policy frameworks do, ignoring changes in forest carbon stock and providing support to all biomass feedstocks irrespective of their impact on the climate.

          Duncan Brack 2017. Research Paper Woody Biomass for Power and Heat Impacts on the Global Climate. Chatham House. February 2017.

          • In my experience, wood chips are a commercial product, made right there on the landing. The piles are there. What would YOU have the Forest Service do with them? It is far better for those fuels to be on the landing, than to leave them in the woods.

    • Whoa, Toby there is a difference between a post and a comment. We can all disagree about the accuracy of posts. You are just name calling “scientifically oxymoronic and politically regressive.” On this blog we try not to call names but to produce information and reasoned arguments.

      Here’s a brief writeup on the EPA’s scientific advisory board differing points of view.

      In their final draft to EPA, the SAB advises that the Framework use an approach that considers all the changes in a landscape when biomass is harvested – rather than considering just emissions at the stack. If examined at a landscape scale over a longer time horizon, biomass can be considered a benefit to carbon emissions. This approach is advocated for by the biomass industry, as well as many foresters and scientists.

      “”The SAB, meanwhile, has expressed frustration that the EPA will not provide a policy context for the Framework. Emissions accounting will vary depending on the time scale – whether it is a shorter time horizon, or a longer one. Foes argue that emissions from biomass need to be negative by 2030, the final implementation date of the Clean Power Plan. This shortened time scale would disqualify most biomass feedstocks from being considered as compliance options under the plan. The biomass industry and many forestry scientists argue that a timescale that considers all the changes at the landscape level –approximately 100 years – is more appropriate.”

      Number of years is actually a policy question, not scientific one IMHO.

      • Yep, using that same mindset, ignoring how huge piles of thinning residue got there, let’s decide what to do with that huge pile of slash. Should we preserve that pile, ‘manage’ that pile, burn it up, or utilize it?

      • It’s hard to support an activity that makes climate change worse in the near-term (when we are desperately trying to decarbonize our economy) and possibly better in the long-term (after we have hopefully already decarbonized our economy). There is a time lag between carbon emissions and carbon capture which has important climate consequences. Burning wood in biomass causes far more GHG emissions now than other sources of power. And while it may recapture some of that carbon over a hundred years or more, the problem is we need to reduce GHG emissions now, not increase it. Carbon emissions are more harmful in the near-term period while we are in the process of decarbonizing our economy. Liz Marshall and Alexia Kelly 2010. The Time Value of Carbon and Carbon Storage: Clarifying the terms and the policy implications of the debate. World Resources Institute. November 2010 (“…there is always a positive value to temporary storage of carbon [such as in unlogged forests] (Table 3). These figures suggest that there are positive benefits to society of storing carbon now, even if it is released later.”)

          • Follow Larry’s link above, then zoom out from the grove of trees that Larry calls a forest, to see if you can find a forest. Thanks for Friday Night entertainment. I just took a trip from this grove to Bakersfield on the West and Death Valley then Las Vegas on the East.

            What, by the way, do you recommend for this “forest,” Larry?

            • I asked first! *smirk*

              And, BTW, did you know this forest is part of the Giant Sequoia National Monument? It is very close to where I monitored logging from the McNally Fire. There are also some established sequoia groves fairly close to that spot, too. (Maybe that will change your decision on what to do about millions of dead old growth trees?)

              • Not a forest! Rather a grove. OK, I’ll ask, again, even though you asked first. *Smirk* What do you recommend for that grove? What if any are implications for trees within the broader landscape, given that the trees you zoomed in on are obviously dead. What type trees are dead in that Google-shot? What killed them?

                BTW. Thanks, I didn’t know they were part of Giant Sequoia NM.

                • I would thin out the dead old growth pines, so that the inevitable future wildfire will be less intense, allowing some of the survivors of the bark beetles to become site-specific seed sources. However, that idea seems impossible, due to current “protections” within the National Monument. No timber can be sold. It still remains to be seen what they will do with hazard trees along their hundreds and hundreds of miles of roads. Will they just fell them and leave them? Will they fund a very expensive service contract, paying loggers to drop the trees and hand-pile the slash? There doesn’t seem to be a good alternative available.

                  • Larry here’s what the Rocky Mountain Park people did with their dead trees, they either burned them or..

                    Creative Wood Uses The park has been exploring unique methods for utilizing beetle affected trees in a variety of park projects.

                    Trails employees have been constructing hand rails, bridges, benches, and other stabilizing structures along Rocky’s trails.
                    Road crews use tall and narrow trees as snow poles to mark road edges affected by deep snow. These snow poles help facilitate plowing operations throughout the year, especially when opening Trail Ridge Road.
                    Facilities also benefit from the available trees by incorporating beetle killed wood into structures, such as picnic shelters.
                    Revegetation crews utilize chips created during tree removals to stabilize soils around fresh transplants.
                    Public utilization options have occurred in the form of firewood permits sold through the backcountry office.
                    Park employees continue to explore new uses for the wood material available throughout the park in an effort to make the most of a unique situation.

                    • I guess we’ll see how much there is in the budget for dealing with tens of thousands of large dead trees, without the help of loggers. won’t we? A friend is part of a Forest Service snag-falling contract in a campground. I’m sure it will be VERY expensive to bring in logging equipment to remove all those trees (to a ‘disposal site’), after they are felled. Not to mention the intense clean-up work, too!

                      Can the Forest Service find a way to deal with California’s millions of worthless dead hazard trees?

        • Some observers focus on the effects of a single harvest, but a look at the bigger picture shows that the forest carbon stock as a whole – nationally, for the sake of this discussion – is and will continue to increase. There is no region of the US where commercial harvests exceed growth. (There are areas where mortality has, is, or will exceed growth — California’s Sierras, for example — and that problem will need to be addressed, somehow.) Consider this paragraph from “Managing Forests because Carbon Matters: Integrating Energy, Products, and Land Management Policy,” Robert W. Malmsheimer et al, Journal of Forestry, October/November 2011 (supplement):

          “A sustainably managed forest can produce a continual flow of wood products and biomass for energy while at the same time maintaining or increasing carbon stocks. Determining the effects of forest harvesting for wood products or bioenergy production requires a landscape-level analysis over time. For instance, in harvesting woody biomass for use in generating energy, carbon is removed from the forest, reducing forest carbon stocks, and that carbon is liberated as biomass is converted to energy. However, as long as harvests and mortality do not exceed net growth across the forest, carbon stocks remain stable or increase through time and the total carbon sequestration potential of the forests is maintained. In addition, the products removed from the forest provide a long-term carbon benefit equal to the avoided emissions from fossil fuels less any fossil energy used to harvest and transport the biomass feedstock.”

  3. The proposed riders which would have thrown away eight years and $5.5 million worth of collaborative planning for a second-growth future on the Tongass, along with blowing up the Roadless Rule in R10, were thankfully stripped out.

  4. “Green groups, such as the League of Conservation Voters and Defenders of Wildlife, spearheaded efforts to knock out dozens of “poison pill” riders that would have rolled back Obama-era environmental protections and eased the Endangered Species Act. It was a notable victory, after a long year of suffering administrative policy defeats for those groups. House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah), who favored many of the riders, could barely contain his frustration with those groups saying earlier this week “if they’d quit suing everybody there’d be no riders in play.””

    “The package also offers a fix to the so-called “Cottonwood decision” that threatens forest projects throughout the West. The Cottonwood fix, an AFRC priority supported by both the Obama and Trump administrations, clarifies that federal land agencies are not required to re-consult with federal fish and wildlife agencies at a programmatic (forest plan) level when new critical habitat is designated or a new species is listed.”

    This concession may have been a reason why other ESA attacks were turned back. And even this provision is weaker than what Bishop et. al. wanted. For plans that haven’t been revised, it only postpones forest plan consultation on new listings or critical habitat for five years.

  5. There is a lot of talk in earlier comments about “science” and “corruption” and the two conjoined. But I suspect that the real controversy with the “forest biomass carbon neutrality” provision in recent Omnibus Appropriations bills is that some believe that industry representatives successfully got language to declare “carbon neutrality” for forest biomass where there is substantial evidence that such is not generally the case. Here is a link to a blog post (“green group “bias alert) that sums up the controversy:

    Included therein is a link to the US House Appropriations Committee site that summarizes the Omnibus Bill, saying in part: “Also included is a multiple agency directive to EPA, USDA, and DOE to establish clear policies that reflect the carbon neutrality of biomass….”

    I suppose that there is nothing too sinister about the mandate, if done correctly and openly. Part of the angst expressed in earlier comments is likely due to lack of trust that the Trump Administration will roll out “policies” that adequately identify where, when, and how carbon neutrality can be achieved in the production and use of forest biomass products.

    Is there more in that part of the Appropriations Bill that is suspect on this front, or am I mis-understanding the angst apparent in earlier comments?

    • Interesting we get the barest hint of the internationalization of the bald-faced lie of carbon neutrality (in a real world time frame) under the pretense that the EU needs the LIE central to meeting the Paris Accord. And that long-since exposed LIE (Paris Accord) of having any possibility of heading off climate catastrophe — matters not a whit for the planet-on-fire-feedback-loop we’re presently experiencing, but this demonstrates — why it’s a necessary lie:

      “Because of a regulatory loophole that passed European Parliament recently, the European Union still considers biomass fuels carbon-neutral, allowing them to count toward fulfillment of its Paris Agreement commitments.”

      Colonialism is not a new phenomenon in world history. Globalization is relatively new though, (spawning v2.0) neocolonialism:

      ” the practice of using capitalism, globalization and cultural imperialism to influence a developing country in lieu of direct military control (imperialism) or indirect political control (hegemony)… snip… Neocolonialism labels European countries’ continued economic and cultural relationships with their former colonies,…”

      But this is not just about EU collaborationists in the lie.

      It’s about Alaska too, which is no stranger to colonialism, especially being the 49th state of the union, and with the majority of its old growth and young growth timber being exported in the round to China, Japan and Korea.

      Yet the news media of the state parrots Senator Murkowski’s LIE it’s all about a struggling sawmill in Southeast AK and its couple dozen employees.

      So what does, “science” and “corruption” and “industry representatives” have to do with this?

      Murkowski’s campaign contributions shot up 368% ( from the Energy and Natural Resources sector alone from 2014–2016) in the following legislative cycle of her Howard Dean moment holding a chair above her head screaming above the crowd: “I AM THE Chairrrrmaaan!!”

      “But does she mean we should address the cause of global warming? Hard to say, since she’s apparently not so sure what the cause is — or whether mankind is to blame. She mentioned a volcano she had heard about in Iceland…”

      (Sound familiar? It’s certainly an interview worth listening to for the purposes of this discussion. And why did Lisa sound like she just won the lottery? Because she did. Will we know who and how much inflated her lottery winnings from the Energy and Natural Resources Sector alone? Well no, because that’s corporate free speech, something so revered in the era of legalized bribery in Amerika, that EPA’s Administrator Scott Pruitt had installed, at taxpayer expense, a soundproof closet in his office to protect corporate privacy.)

      It doesn’t take a Harvard economist to connect the dots between the financial interests of the massive international trade sector to Congress, and then to the American (Neo)colonial public and private forest land base– for international markets.

      This, of course, is accomplished for the purposes of exploiting the climate crisis (the one Sharon can’t scientifically accept the details of, and Lyin’ Lisa could care less about), but which matters profoundly.

    • We’ve talked about this before… it’s all in the specifics. My neighbor Joe clearing his WUI house environs and using the remnants for heating doesn’t have as big a carbon footprint as burning them in a pile without the coal/natural gas substitution.

      It seems to me that “biomass” has gotten a bad rap for the importation of wood pellets from the SE US to Europe.. but isn’t that Europe’s problem (that they are wrong about it?).

      It depends on how you get the biomass, what else the land would be used for, what else the biomass would be used for, whether it’s for heating or electricity, and what it is substituting for.
      Of course, if I were EPA I’d also have to think about the other environmental impacts of say, brown coal in Europe, or the dangers of breathing wood smoke in the home or the plant or so on.
      It just seems to me that each application of biomass for energy should have its own calculations on a site specific basis. If you are going to make a blanket pronouncement, it’s clearly moved out of the hands of science into the realm of scientists trying to make policy. And when that happens, policy makers like the Congress step in. Coevolution and all that.

      • Sharon: – “It seems to me that “biomass” has gotten a bad rap for the importation of wood pellets from the SE US to Europe.. but isn’t that Europe’s problem (that they are wrong about it?).”

        This story was actually updated two days ago. I think it’s rediculous to cut down good forests in the SE for purely biomass for pellet reasons and then ship over here to Europe. This is like Germany over here having a power plant a few years back (My wife & I watched in a Swedish documentary) burning Palm Oil from Malaysia and Indonesia to generate electricity and then proceeding to call it eco-green and renewable. But I’d have no problem with pellets being used locally by home owners within vaious regions. There doesn’t seem to be good viables answers that are going to satisfy everyone. Someone will fine a reason to bicker about something.

        • ” I think it’s rediculous to cut down good forests in the SE for purely biomass for pellet reasons and then ship over here to Europe. ”

          But that’s NOT what is happening. Pellets are made from small logs and “waste” products — sawlogs are still much more valuable than pellets.

          • The waste is fine, but why ship to Europe ? Why burn pinyon juniper woodland when you could cut (not chaining) and use that waste for lof post and waster for pellets and sell locally. There are lots of people there in the USA have pellet stoves. I just cannoot see the waste in shipping way over here to Europe. Or make some type of electrical generating plant.

            • Why ship to Europe? Because they pay for the pellets, and there isn’t a market for that volume in the US. Yes, I’d rather use the pellets here, but note that the European pellet purchasers are are supporting many jobs in the US, from the woods to the ports.

    • It would likely have no effect on forest management in the Sierra Nevada, other than to utilize the mountains of logging slash on the landings, after thinning projects. Will there be a subsidy? Not right away, probably.

  6. It it not about “biomass getting a bad rap….” at least not in my mind. Rather, it is about corporate power and legislative process. Some of us believe that Congress is often captured by corporate power. Corporate interests, when not pronouncing the wonders of free markets, are too-often lobbying Congress for special favor. Sometimes these favors take the form or tariffs or other special tax breaks. These days the same favors can show up as pronouncements from Congress that some products are carbon neutral—without adequate proof that carbon-neutrality should apply. My question was and is whether or not any blanket pronouncements have already been made by Congress or by Administrative fiat? Or whether we are in a “we’ll see” waiting game w/r/t carbon neutrality of forest biomass products? Implicitly, my question relates to whether science still has an advisory role to play.

    Finally, Sharon, where does your statement, “If you are going to make a blanket pronouncement, it’s clearly moved out of the hands of science into the realm of scientists trying to make policy,” fit into this discussion?


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