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

December 27, 2019 

In this Week's Pellet Wire:

Executive Director's Notes: Best Days of 2019 

Last week, I sent a letter to all our members, thanking them for their support in 2019 and inviting them to join our organization again in 2020. I would like to share the recap portion of my letter with them in this final edition of Pellet Wire in 2019, with a specific request that anyone connected to the wood pellet industry who is not currently a member of the PFI to give it just a few moments. 

Some highlights from 2019 include the following:

  • Retailer inclusion in our organization. Early in the year, we recognized that we were missing a key component of our industry within our organization and on our board, one that would enable us to have a robust conversation about growing the wood pellet market. Appropriately, we included retailer visits on all our travel itineraries, and this summer, we welcomed two retail members to our board (Martin’s Sales and Service and Dean’s Stove and Spa). We were excited to add their voices to our board and look forward to leveraging their expertise and perspective as we continue our work to raise consumer awareness of wood pellet heating and barbecuing.

  • Reestablishing our conference as an annual “can’t miss” conversation about our industry. Trade associations rely on conferences to gather their membership annually, discuss the challenges and opportunities their businesses face, and stoke overall enthusiasm for the organization. The PFI is no different, and looking only at the success of this year’s conference in Hershey doesn’t tell the whole story. I’m happy to report that our conference committee has reinvigorated our annual conference and is excited about what is in store not only for 2020, but 2021 and beyond.

  • Continuing our years-long effort to gain federal policy parity for renewable wood heating. At this summer’s conference, our board committed to pairing its fall meeting with a day of visits to our elected representatives in Washington, D.C. As the date approached, an opportunity emerged to have provisions of the Biomass Thermal Utilization Act included in a house-sponsored green energy tax package. Our timing could not have been better, and we met with almost 40 senators, representatives and/or their staff as this legislation was being developed. Just three weeks later, a draft of the Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now (GREEN) Act was released, and a residential tax credit for high-efficiency wood pellet appliances was included in the draft. 

  • Protecting our industry from misguided federal regulation. In 2015, minimum pellet fuel requirements were included in the U.S. EPA’s New Source Performance Standards, a broad piece of federal air quality regulation. The requirements were poorly conceived, written without industry input and passed into law putting anyone who makes wood pellets at regulatory risk. We acted immediately, and regrettably, those efforts continue to this day. Late this year, our legal counsel arranged a meeting between the PFI and the Office of Air and Radiation, which included Anne Idsal, the acting administrator of the office. We are hopeful that our conversation helped Idsal and her team understand why these requirements do not advance the aims of the legislation, and instead put the producers of the cleanest burning solid fuel out there at risk. 

All these highlights are characterized by their ongoing, cumulative nature. They require our constant and consistent effort and energy. Your financial support of the PFI makes this possible, and I’m hopeful you will accept my invitation to continue your support of the PFI next year. I can’t simplify it any further. I hope you will take this opportunity to renew your membership today so that we may continue our good work for the betterment of the wood pellet industry and the retailers who sell our products.

The PFI had a great 2019. That isn’t hyperbole or association speak—it’s just the simple truth. We’re hopeful that 2020 can be as successful, or better yet, a more successful year. That isn’t a guarantee, but to deliver another great year takes the energy of our members and their financial support as well.

Give the PFI a shot this year. Whether it’s a membership, conference sponsorship or even simply attending our annual conference in Milwaukee this summer, I invite you to give us a chance. 

Happiest of holidays to you and yours as we close out 2019.

Tim Portz 
Executive Director

 Send us Photos! 

Photo of the Week: Cheers to a Successful Fly-In

Stan Elliot, Pacific Coast Pellets; Charlie Niebling, Innovative Natural Resource Solutions; John Utter, Lignetics; and Stephen Faehner, American Wood Fibers, ready to meet with Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo at the PFI’s Washington, D.C., fly-in.

Photo of Stan Elliot, Pacific Coast Pellets; Charlie Niebling, Innovative Natural Resource Solutions; John Utter, Lignetics; and Stephen Faehner, American Wood Fibers, ready to meet with Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo at the PFI’s Washington, D.C., fly-in.

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

Follow PFI on Twitter, Friend Us 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 TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn!
  2. Encourage your colleagues and other business associates to follow us.
  3. Send Tim Portz news or other ideas to post on PFI's social media. 

Have News to Share on Pellet Wire?

We'd 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.

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. 

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.  

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Thanks for Your Continued Support of PFI! 

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Industry News

BTEC: Support for woody biomass included in spending, tax deals (Biomass Magazine)

In the final week of the 2019 legislative session, Congress passed a $5 million allotment for the new Community Wood Energy and Innovations Program in the massive $1.4 trillion spending deal, extended the Section 25C Wood and Pellet Stove Credit, and reauthorized the carbon neutrality of biomass policy...

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SBP certification system offers SDE+ compliance solution (Canadian Biomass Magazine)

SBP has today announced that its certification system now offers the complete solution for compliance with the biomass sustainability requirements of the Netherlands’ SDE+ subsidy programme...

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Wood Pellets Impressive Among Alternative Fuels (Greenhouse Canada):

British Columbia is leading the way, increasing production and research initiatives over the next few years. Greenhouse growers have plenty of alternatives to natural gas for heating their greenhouses these days.

Good thing, too...

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Leading Fireplace Association Supports Legislation to Fund Wood Heater Changeouts (Hearth & Home):

The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) today expressed its strong support for the Wood Heaters Emissions Reduction Act of 2019...

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Forisk acquires the North American Wood Fiber Review (Biomass Magazine):

Forisk Consulting, a leader in North American forest industry and timber market research, has acquired the North American Wood Fiber Review from Wood Resources International of Bothell, Washington...

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Pinnacle to build new pellet plant in Alabama (Biomass Magazine):

Pinnacle Renewable Energy announced on Dec. 19 plans to build a new 360,000-metric-ton-per-year pellet plant adjacent to an existing sawmill in Demopolis, Alabama. The facility is expected to begin commissioning during the second quarter of 2021...

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Pellet Fuels Institute

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