Catch up with PFI in this issue of the Pellet Wire!

June 10, 2022

From the Director's Desk:

Conference Prep and Federal Advocacy Dominate PFI Efforts 

This is the final edition of the Pellet Wire before we convene as a board, an organization and a conference body in Milwaukee. At just over a week out from the conference our attention turns toward actual production and delivery a quality conference as opposed to attendee and sponsor recruitment. We are gathering as panels, staking out discussion topics and working to build panel discussions that are informative for our audience.

Out of curiosity I looked back at the last Pellet Wire before the 2021 conference. You can find it here. In my commentary, I staked out five talking points I was anticipating would dominate our discussions. Not surprisingly, the sector and the economy at large’s emergence from a global pandemic was at the top of list. Interestingly, reverberations of that seismic economic disruption are still being felt and I’d bet good money that managing the inflationary pressures across the wood pellet supply chain will attract a sizeable share of the time and commentary from panelists.

Next on our list was an assessment of the impact of the BTU Act on wood pellet appliances. The BTU Act will certainly get a great deal of air time at this year’s event, but I suspect the bulk of the discussion will center on the PFI’s efforts to see it expanded and extended. Remember, only the residential component of the legislation was included in the spending bill then President Trump signed in December of 2020. This tax credit sunsets in 2023 and we’re making an all-out effort to see this important tax credit and its companion tax credit for businesses and institutions included in any clean energy tax package currently under development. This work dominates the time available to our team not committed to conference to-do’s.  Tuesday’s call with Senator Crapo (Idaho) is an important step in getting our message of the economic and environmental importance of wood pellet manufacturing and use in front of key Senate Finance Committee members.

An Update on Our Conversation with Senator Mike Crapo:

Yesterday as I authored my commentary for the Pellet Wire, our meeting with Senator Mike Crapo was hours away. We were prepared and had our exhibits in order and my biggest concern was whether the Senator would make the call. The Senator is the Ranking Member on the Senate Finance Committee and our colleagues at O’Neill & Associates have advised us that if the BTU Act is to be expanded and extended via legislative action, it will be because the Finance Committee look favorably upon it.

The Senator was prompt and at 3:15 pm Central Time, we were on the phone with one of 100 U.S. Senators. We quickly worked through the three tenets of our argument and asked for his support on ensuring the tax credit was included in any kind of clean energy tax package that the committee was working on. Senator Crapo listened attentively and then outlined the three pathways that lead to our tax credit expanded and extended offering that the third, the credits inclusion in a tax extenders bill being the most likely. He specifically identified Senators Wyden (Oregon) and Manchin (West Virginia) as important to our cause. We were buoyed by this news as our outreach effort has included staff from both of those offices. He ended the call saying, “I am all in with you and will do what I can.” In a short after-action review with our colleagues at O’Neill & Associates we unanimously agreed that it had been our most effective and positive advocacy effort in this most recent push. 

I look forward to speaking in more detail about our advocacy efforts when we gather later this month in Milwaukee. 

PFI 2022 Annual Conference

Registration for the PFI Annual Conference Is Still Open

If you haven’t had an opportunity to peruse the 2022 PFI Annual Conference agenda I urge you to give it a look. The agenda reflects the biggest questions, opportunities, and challenges facing the sector today. It is rich in wood pellet manufacturers talking about their businesses and the markets they serve. Whether you are a BBQ pellet enthusiast or an energy policy wonk you’ll find something on the agenda to circle. I hope you will join us.

We look forward to seeing you in Milwaukee!

Register Now

    —Tim Portz
    Executive Director

Photo of the Week:

Left to right: Stan Elliot, Pacific Coast Pellets, John Utter, Dansons, Charlie Niebling, wood energy guru at-large, and Stephen Faehner, American Wood Fibers

Photo by: Tim Portz

PFI connects with Senator Crapo, again: No, there wasn’t an emergency fly-in this week. This photograph was taken during our fall 2019 fly-in while we waited for our meeting with Senator Crapo’s staff. On Tuesday, the members of PFI and PFI staff had a teleconference with Senator Crapo himself as part of our recent effort to ensure that an expanded and extended BTU Act is included in a clean energy tax package rumored to be underway. Please read the article included in the Industry News section of this website for more information. The picture is a reminder that our charge with policymakers is a continual effort played out over years.  

Send Us Your Photos! Help us build a collection of photos of our members, their pellet mills, and products! Send images to Tim Portz at [email protected].

Industry News

EIA Monthly Densified Biomass Report (with February data)

As of February 2022, the monthly data collection included 79 operating manufacturers of densified biomass fuel. These manufacturers had a total production capacity of 12.99 million tons per year and collectively had an equivalent of 2,335 full-time employees

Read Article

ENplus surpasses 1,200 certified companies

The world-leading certification scheme to guarantee high-quality wood pellets, ENplus, continues its expansion. In 2021, the total production of certified pellets is estimated to be 13.6 million metric tons, with the projection for the certified volumes for 2022 being over 14 million metric tons.

Read Article 

Resurrected budget package no slam dunk as negotiations heat up

​Democrats face big obstacles and a deadline measured in weeks as they attempt to salvage a scaled-down tax, climate and health care package that could give them a boost ahead of the November elections.

Read Article

NH Delegation Welcomes $1M to Continuum in North Conway to Support Wood Energy

U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and U.S. Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) applauded a $1 million award to Continuum in North Conway to support the Ridgeline Assisted Living Community Wood Chip Fueled District Heating and Cooling Plant. This award will help Continuum modernize and streamline its wood energy production, including through state-of-the-art engineering features to maximize efficiency and meet emission control standards.

Read Article

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Have News to Share in the Pellet Wire?

We would love to feature your company's news in a future Pellet Wire! Let us be the first to know about your company's recent developments, and we will share them with the broader pellet fuels industry.

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Please get in touch with Tim Portz via email at [email protected] with information on your company's growth, job openings, promotions, or other news.

Pellet Fuels Institute 

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(206) 209-5277