PFI's Weekly Newsletter



November 17, 2017

In this Week's Pellet Wire:

Government Affairs Update: Tax & NSPS


Late yesterday afternoon, the full House passed H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by a vote of 227-205. House passage is a considerable step forward in the movement toward enacting meaningful tax code reform. Also, late yesterday the Senate Finance Committee approved its version of tax reform legislation. Leader McConnell is looking to consider the Senate proposal on the floor of the upper chamber the week after Thanksgiving.

It has been an active week for our tax priorities in the context of the Senate's tax reform debate. On Sunday evening, numerous amendments to the tax reform proposal unveiled by Chairman Hatch the previous week were filed for consideration. Among them, and sponsored by the Chairman himself, was S. 1480, the Biomass Thermal Utilization Act. We were obviously very encouraged by this development and it tracked with what Finance Committee staff had told us last week that this provision was on their radar. Senator Collins has been having conversations directly with Chairman Hatch that this is among her highest priorities and that message has found traction. In addition, her staff has been meeting with Finance Committee staff underscoring the importance of enacting the BTU Act for the State of Maine.

Later in the week when the Finance Committee released a new "chairman's mark" the BTU Act provisions were absent, but so were all other energy-related provisions that were pending. At least for now, Finance Committee Republicans have opted to address all energy tax incentives in a separate package. This, of course, may change as the situation is fluid, but that is where we currently stand. The bottom line in the Senate is that the BTU Act is well-positioned if/when action occurs on renewable energy tax incentives this year. Leadership is discussing an energy tax extenders package that would come together after tax reform legislation passes the Senate.

In the House, the Ways & Means Committee has reported a tax reform bill that does include some renewable energy provisions, but not the BTU Act or other proposals that are in play in the Senate. This issue will have to be resolved as the process moves forward, perhaps cleaving these provisions and forging a separate energy tax incentive vehicle as mentioned above, or opening up the tax reform bill to include other energy provisions. Again, the situation is changing rapidly. We will keep you apprised of our progress.

NSPS for Wood Heaters

The House Energy & Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on the Environment held a markup today on a number of bills including H.R. 453, legislation that would delay implementation of Step 2 of the New Source Performance Standards for Wood Heaters until May 2023. The bill was approved on a party line vote 12-10. The next step is a full committee markup, which has not yet been scheduled.

In the Senate, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee's Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety held a hearing yesterday on a handful of bills, including S. 1857. This legislation is the companion to H.R. 453. Paul Williams, Vice President of Business Intelligence for United States Stove Company based in Bridgeport, AL was on hand to testify in support of the bill. A markup in the Senate committee has not been scheduled.

Nominate Your Facility to be Featured in PFI's Promotional Video

In 2018, Pellet Fuels Institute will be creating a short promotional video about the pellet fuels industry, for use on the PFI website as well as by any PFI member. The Board has approved a budget, and the promotions committee will be supervising the filming and production. The theme of the video will be how pellets are produced - and how they contribute to rural American communities and sustainable forest management. It will also emphasize the benefits of pellet heating over other alternatives like heating oil.

So this is where you come in - we need nominations for a pellet production facility to feature in the video! The video will focus on one region of the country, centered on a pellet producer but also looking at the businesses that supply the raw materials, as well as retailers and end users who purchase the finished product.

If you'd like to nominate a facility to be featured in the PFI video, please send an email to [email protected] with "PFI Video Nomination" in the subject line. Tell us about your facility and why it would be a good "poster child" for the pellet fuels industry. Please include the name, location, size and age of pellet production facility, and names of suppliers and retailers that you work with nearby. The promotions committee will announce the location of the video in January after reviewing the applications. Please reach out to Carrie Annand with any questions.

We Need Your Input for PFI's 2018 Events

Are there any topics that you'd like to see addressed at Breakfast & Biomass or at PFI's Annual Conference next year? We'd like to hear from you. Nominate speakers, suggest panels, experts, themes and ideas. The Conference Committee wants to be sure to reflect the preferences and needs of PFI membership as much as possible.

Be sure to check our updated online calendar with information on many events happening during the remainder of 2017 and into 2018. Most important, mark your calendars for next year's PFI events! 

Breakfast & Biomass at the HPB Expo in Nashville, TN - March 8-10, 2018

PFI Annual Conference in Myrtle Beach, SC - June 24-26, 2018 

If our calendar is missing any events that you're planning to attend, please send an email to Carrie

Follow PFI on Facebook and Connect with us on LinkedIn! 

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

March 8, 2018: HPB Expo

March 9, 2018: 2018 PFI Breakfast & Biomass

March 20, 2018: International Mass Timber Conference

April 16, 2018: International Biomass Conference & Expo

May 1, 2018: Heating the Midwest

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

Clarkson Team Discovers Way to Prevent Carbon Monoxide from Stroed Wood Pellets
Watertown Daily Times, New York

A Clarkson University professor has developed a system to stop wood pellets emitting carbon monoxide, according to a press release from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

Wood pellets can be used to fire stoves and boilers, and have been advocated by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo as alternatives to heating oil or propane as part of his goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But Professor Philip Hopke, who lead the research at Clarkson, found that the pellets emitted toxic carbon monoxide while in storage.

Read Full Article

Nineteen Nations Say They'll Use More Bioenergy to Slow Climate Change

China and 18 other nations representing half the world's population said on Thursday they planned to increase the use of wood and other plant matter from sustainable sources to generate energy as part of efforts to limit climate change.

The group would work out collective targets for increasing the use of what they called sustainable bioenergy, they said during talks in Germany among 200 nations on bolstering the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

Read Full Article

What is Bioenergy? And What Role Can it Play in a Low Carbon Future?
University of Manchester

When we think or talk about renewable energy it is often solar, wind and tidal power that most people instantly recognise. However, bioenergy actually makes up around 70% of all renewable energy sources across the world. But what do we actually mean by bioenergy and biofuel?

Biomass is any kind of plant and organic material used to create different forms of bioenergy. These kinds of materials, also known as feedstock, can then be used for everything from running a power station to fuelling cars. The sector has enormous potential for providing the world with a sustainable, low-carbon energy. The UK alone could generate up to 44% of its energy from biomass sources, such as household waste and agricultural residues, by 2050.


Pellet Fuels Institute |  [email protected]   | 206.209.5277