February 3, 2017

In this Week's Pellet Wire:

Trump Administration Cabinet Nominee and Confirmation Update 

The parade of nominees to fill out the Trump Cabinet continues, albeit at a slower pace than normal. Yesterday, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved the nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to be the next EPA Administrator. The vote was taken after the Committee suspended the rules governing a quorum as all Democrat Members boycotted the proceeding. A vote on Pruitt will now go to the Senate floor where he is expected to be confirmed, as only a simple majority is required for approval.

Pruitt is expected to be an agent of change at EPA but it remains unclear how far he can proceed in terms of altering or rolling back various rules. We think it is a safe bet that the Clean Power Plan will be scrapped or at least not implemented, but how far he can go on regulations such as the NSPS for wood heaters remains unclear. PFI is close to the action and will keep you apprised of developments.

The other key nominee for PFI is Sonny Perdue, who has been tapped to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This appointment is encouraging to many in the pellet fuels sector, as he has an excellent track record on forestry and biomass. What's more, we feel very positive about some of the sub-cabinet level appointments that are in the queue as we have very good relationships with many of them. This will be key as Farm Bill reauthorization efforts begin in earnest this year.


Register for Breakfast & Biomass at HPB Expo 2017 in Atlanta, GA

The Hearth Patio & Barbecue Expo 2017 is approaching quickly! The annual event is taking place this year March 2-4 in Atlanta, GA, at the Georgia World Congress Center.

As in years past, PFI will be holding Breakfast & Biomass on Friday, March 3, at 7:30am. Don't miss the chance to network with fellow pellet fuels producers as well as stove manufacturers, retailers, suppliers and others involved in the pellet fuels industry.

Have breakfast and talk biomass with us at the HPB Expo. Registration is open for the $35 event, and is available on the Expo registration webpage.

If you have ideas for topics you'd like to see addressed at Breakfast & Biomass, please contact Carrie Annand at [email protected]

U.S. Energy Information Administration Releases Monthly Pellet Fuel Data

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released this week its monthly report on pellet fuels.

According to the report, the 88 densified biomass manufacturers that the agency tracks had a capacity to produce 11.3 million tons of wood pellets annually. More than 2,000 workers were fully employed by the industry in this time. From February to April 2016, domestic pellet sales totaled 0.2 million tons at $156.08 per ton, while 1.2 million tons of pellets were sold overseas at a per-ton average of $149.45. 

To view the full report, please visit the EIA website


Need Help Talking About the PFI Standards Program and Its Significance? We Are Here to Help!

PFI has created materials to help retailers and consumers learn more about the PFI Standards Program and its Quality Mark.

One pager on the Standards Program: Our informational handout on the PFI Standards Program explains the program and its implications for pellet producers, retailers and stove manufacturers. It also lists the companies that have been qualified for the program, along with their websites.

One pager on the symbols found on pellet bags: We have created a one pager specifically explaining the various PFI logos and marks found on bags of pellets. It helps retailers distinguish the PFI Standards Program Quality Mark from other commonly used symbols. This handout is also ideal for printing off and distributing to customers or posting in a store.

Materials for members of the program: For qualified companies, we have created a marketing kit with suggested language for ensuring that customers and retailers are aware of your company's acceptance into the program and what it means. It also includes suggested language for websites.

If you are interested in receiving any of these materials, please contact Carrie Annand at [email protected]. If you are interested in joining the program, first step is to visit PFI's Standards Program web pages to identify an accredited auditing agency. The agency will help you come up with a Quality Control manual and get you on the path to joining the program.

2017 PFI Sponsorship & Advertising Opportunities 

PFI invites you to become a 2017 sponsor! This year, we have developed a new, streamlined sponsorship program that will create multiple opportunities for your company in 2017. Your company will have great visibility at PFI events, on the PFI website, and in the PFI newsletter, amongst other benefits.

The 2017 Sponsorship packages include benefits such as:

  • PFI Annual Conference registrations
  • Breakfast & Biomass registrations
  • Company logo listed on the PFI website
  • 10x10 booth at the PFI Annual Conference
  • Weekly newsletter advertising
  • Website advertising
  • And more!

PFI's membership includes over 100 member companies, and our electronic newsletter is sent to over 3,500 people every week. Now is the time to become a sponsor of this organization. Visit our website to explore how you can become involved.

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: www.facebook.com/pfipellets
Link with us on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/pellet-fuels-institute

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 

March 3, 2017: PFI Breakfast & Biomass

July 23-25, 2017: PFI Annual Conference

Connect with PFI

PFI Newsletter
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

Buffett's Rocky Mountain to Test Biomass That May Cut Coal Use
Rocky Mountain Power, a unit of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc., will test a new biomass fuel that may reduce the amount of coal being burned by power plants.

The U.S. utility, which is part of Pacificorp, will use a plant in Utah to test a biomass fuel made by Active Energy Group Plc, Paul Murphy, a spokesman for RMP, said by phone. Active Energy's fuel, called CoalSwitch, is processed from low-grade forestry residue.

Active Energy, which manages woodlands and develops clean-energy products, is seeking to supply its fuel to utilities willing to switch to biomass in order to cut carbon emissions. The London-based in November obtained funding for its first industrial-scale plant. It will be located in Canada and turn waste and wood into CoalSwitch.

Read the Full Article

EPA's Biomass Policy is Stifling New Hampshire's Forest Industry
New Hampshire Union Leader
As the second most forested state in the nation, New Hampshire has long recognized the important role woody biomass (mainly forest thinnings and wood waste from forests) energy can play by diversifying its energy mix, providing clean and renewable power, and providing local jobs while benefiting the environment.

The importance of New Hampshire biomass is acknowledged in several policies including New Hampshire's official Climate Action Plan, adopted in 2009. The plan calls for harnessing forest-sourced biomass in "production of electricity (and) heating residential and public buildings...(while employing) sustainable forest management principles."

Unfortunately, stalled actions in Washington threaten to undermine a policy that would reduce New Hampshire and America's dependence on fossil fuels.

Read the Full Article

Pick a Fuel, Any Fuel - Versatile New Stove Burns Pellets, Charcoal, or Gas
Digital Trends
After launching its self-titled, portable wood-fired oven to Kickstarter success in 2012, the Edinburgh, Scotland-based Uuni decided not to sit back on its gains and instead opted to one-up itself. With four years of research and development in the bag, the European company returned to its crowdfunding roots this month and launched the Uuni Pro. What sets the Pro apart from its first-generation kin is that aside from featuring the ability to burn wood as fuel, owners also have the option of using wood pellets, charcoal, or gas. Though it's not necessarily a first of its kind, its ample cooking surface and versatility do put it in a class all its own.

While the Uuni's portability added to its intrigue and attractiveness, the Uuni Pro is intended to be an owner's home-based solution to everyday baking. Be it a vehicle for whipping up the perfect loaf of bread, expertly cooking a heap of prime rib, or baking a large, 16-inch pizza, the Uuni Pro (and its attachments) provide an incredible amount of flexibility.

Read the Full Article


Pellet Fuels Institute |  [email protected]   | 206.209.5277