PFI's Weekly Newsletter



July 21, 2017

In this Week's Pellet Wire:

PFI Annual Conference Begins on Sunday 

The PFI Annual Conference begins this Sunday in Stowe, Vermont. We look forward to seeing you there! Online registration is now closed, but you will be able to register at the door. Registration hours are: Sunday 4-8pm, Monday 7am-6pm, Tuesday 7-11am.

Be sure to visit our exhibitors! We have an excellent exhibit hall in store for you, and when you complete the Exhibitor Passport included in your registration packet, you can be entered to win some great prizes, including the wood pellet smoker and grill from Louisiana Grills!

Stowe has been a destination for world travelers for well over a century. The alpine style of the lodge reflects the beauty of the green mountains and rolling hills. Having opened in June 2008, Stowe Mountain Lodge sets a new standard of luxury and aesthetics for the East Coast's most magnificent resort. Built at the base of Stowe Mountain Resort, in the new "Vermont-Alpine" style, Stowe Mountain Lodge offers a truly luxurious setting while still paying respect to the Vermont traditions of utilizing local artisan products and embracing the tranquility of nature. 

In conjunction with a dynamic conference program, you can visit some of the nearby sites like the Alchemist Brewery and some of the best shopping and dining Vermont has to offer. Combined with some of the area outdoor activities such as zip lining, biking, the PFI conference is a must-attend event. Take a look at all the great things Stowe has to offer.  

Please contact [email protected] with any questions. 

We thank all of our sponsors for making this event possible. 

Government Affairs Update

Federal Forest Reform Legislation

Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR), the only forester in Congress, is once again
leading efforts in the House to enact needed reforms to the way our federal
forest holdings are managed. The Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017
(H.R. 2936 or RFFA) was introduced June 20 and has already been approved by the House Natural Resources Committee. Because the bill is wide ranging, it was referred to several committees in the House, including the House Agriculture Committee. We are hearing that leadership on House Ag would like to mark the legislation up before it receives House floor consideration.

Like its predecessor in the last Congress, which passed the House, the RFFA of 2017 would provide a number of new tools for the Forest Service to execute on its mission. Primary among these tools are new authorities that would allow for expedited environmental reviews of proposed forest thinning and other critical forest landscape work. One of the time consuming exercises that must precede any forest management work on federal lands before moving forward is conducting environmental assessments of the project to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act or NEPA. The last Farm Bill authorized "categorical exclusions" from these NEPA review requirements as long as certain conditions were satisfied. The RFFA from last Congress included a number of CEs that were capped at 5,000 acres.The new version of the bill doubles that cap to 10,000 acres. Similarly, the bill authorizes the Forest Service to speed up salvage harvesting and reforestation following "catastrophic events," which the bill defines to include fire, ice storms and wind events. The legislation requires the Forest Service to reforest 75 percent of the impacted acres, and prevents restraining orders, injunctions or other stays on proposed salvage projects.

The new RFFA also creates a pilot program to resolve legal challenges
against forest management activities through binding arbitration, providing
outside organizations the opportunity to offer an alternative to the challenged activity to be weighed against the Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management proposal by an independent arbitrator. The old bill
included a bonding requirement for those filing actions to stop forest
management projects. The bonding provision drew opposition in the Senate
and the new version was retooled to instead provide an arbitrations process
to address those concerns.

Regarding the wildfire crisis that is consuming over half the Forest Service
budget every year, the bill would allow for wildfires to be declared "disasters" and therefore eligible to receive support from existing disaster relief funds under the Stafford Act. Doing so would end the fire borrowing that occurs each year within Forest Service accounts that has crippled the Service's ability to deliver on key objectives, including forest management. We will keep you apprised of developments on this effort.


The House Appropriations Committee approved legislation this week which
funds EPA, the Department of Interior and other related agencies. Overall,
the bill cuts funding for EPA by about $500 million. However, within the
bill's 142 pages is a provision directing almost $400 million for hazardous
fuels management activity on Federal lands. And the language goes on to
specify that $15 million of this amount be used for creating incentives for
biomass energy derived from these federal forest land holdings. The bill also includes a carbon neutrality provision similar to what was passed earlier this year in an omnibus package. 

Follow PFI on Facebook and Connect with us on LinkedIn! 

This week, PFI updated its LinkedIn page. We'd like to connect and interact with PFI members and anyone else involved in pellet fuels production! 

Here's how you can help us build our online community:

  1. Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn!
  2. Encourage your colleagues and other business associates to follow us.
  3. Send Carrie Annand news or other ideas to post on LinkedIn.

Bioenergy Day 2017 - Save the Date for October 18

Wednesday, October 18, marks the day for the Fifth Annual Bioenergy Day. With more than four months to go, there's plenty of time to decide how your organization will recognize the day, sharing with audiences old and new the many benefits of bioenergy.

This year, we are highlighting the economic benefits of bioenergy. The presence of bioenergy in a community creates jobs, enhances revenue and forest products markets, and reduces waste. Our video on bioenergy, forest products and forestry in Northwestern Montana will illustrate how manufacturers convert leftover fuels into energy. 

There are many ways to contribute to Bioenergy Day 2017. We've uploaded our Participation Guide on the site to help you brainstorm the ways to mark Bioenergy Day, with some best practices and sample materials. You can also look around our website,, to see how other groups have approached Bioenergy Day. 

Contact Carrie Annand with any questions on Bioenergy Day 2017 or to register your organization's event. 

Follow and Connect with us on Social Media!

We urge all PFI members to engage with us on social media. By joining PFI in being visible and active on social media, we can make our voices heard more loudly and by many more audiences.

Follow us on Twitter: @PelletFuel
Friend us on Facebook:
Link with us on LinkedIn:

Have News to Share on Pellet Wire?

We'd love to feature your company's news in a future Pellet Wire! We want to be the first to know your company's recent developments to share them with the wider pellet fuels industry.

Please be in touch with Carrie Annand at [email protected] with information on your company's growth, job openings, promotions or other news. 

Join a PFI Committee

We welcome and encourage all interested PFI members to get involved in our committees. There are many opportunities to help steer the association. No matter where your expertise and interests lie, we have a committee that will suit you. Help us plan our next conference, shape our policy agenda, lead communications outreach or grow the PFI Standards Program. Visit PFI's website for more information. 

Upcoming Industry Events

July 23-25, 2017: PFI Annual Conference

September 19-21, 2017: 2017 International Conference on Thermochemical Conversion

June 16-21, 2018: Resources for Future Generations (RFG) 2018

Connect with PFI
Join PFI

Fuel Availability

Are you a PFI member pellet manufacturer or distributor that has fuel available? Email [email protected] to have your listing updated or added to the PFI website.

Industry News

EIA: 460,000 Tons of Densified Biomass Fuel Sold in April 
Biomass Magazine

On July 10, the U.S. Energy Information Administration released new data on the U.S. densified biomass fuel industry, reporting there was nearly 12.71 million tons of capacity in place in April, including more than 12.09 million tons listed as currently operational or temporarily not in operation. An additional 163,500 tons of capacity is listed as planned or under construction.

The U.S. South currently has more than 9.39 million tons of annual capacity, with 2.41 million tons installed in the East and 904,320 tons installed in the West.

Read Full Article

Hate Carrying Wood Pellet Bags? A Canadian Inventor has a Solution

The weekly trip from the garage to the basement, carrying 20-kilogram sacks of wood pellets for the heater in -40 C temperatures is a fact of life for many living in Canada's North.

But a Hay River, N.W.T., inventor and contractor believes he's solved that.

Robert Chenard is marketing what he believes is an original system called Pellets on Demand that transfers wood pellets directly from an outdoor storage container into the home.

Read Full Article

Wood Heating is a Win-Win-Win  
Berkshire Eagle, Massachusetts

IWith fresh memories of the recent heat wave, now seems like an odd time to consider the benefits of renewable wood heating energy. But it's actually the perfect time to start thinking about a new heating system that uses wood.

Across the state, there are more and more examples of low emission and efficient wood energy technologies being employed to replace fossil fuel systems for heating schools, government buildings, and institutions. Increasing the use of wood fuels for heat reduces energy costs, creates and retains local jobs, and improves the management of our woodlands.

Read Full Article 

Agriculture, Forestry Industries have a $91 billion Impact in Virginia
Augusta Free Press 

A new comprehensive study shows Virginia's agriculture and forestry industries contribute $91 billion annually to the Commonwealth's economy. This represents a 30 percent increase from the most recent study, released in 2013, which showed an annual economic impact of $70 billion. 

"I am excited to see the agriculture and forestry industries have significantly increased their economic impact in just four years," Governor McAuliffe said. "As the Commonwealth's first- and third-largest private industries, agriculture and forestry play a vital role in the new Virginia economy. This is the kind of growth we are looking for in Virginia to keep us as the top state to do business in, a leader in export and trade, and a top destination for visitors who seeking out our agritourism venues and our state's natural beauty."

Read Full Article.


Pellet Fuels Institute |  [email protected]   | 206.209.5277