September 2, 2016

In this Week's Pellet Wire:

Senator John Boozman (R-AR) and Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR) Conclude Arkansas #Seed2Sawmill Forestry Tour

U.S. Sen. John Boozman (AR) and U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman (AR-04) this week hosted their #Seed2Sawmill Tour, exploring forestry in Arkansas and the many forest products and jobs generated by the industry.  The tour was well documented by Arkansas media as well as by the two officials on their social media channels. To see photos and coverage of the tour, search for #Seed2Sawmill on Twitter or Facebook, or visit Sen. Boozman's campaign website.

Westerman, the only professional forester in Congress and the co-chair of both the House Biomass Caucus and the Working Forests Caucus, led the tour through counties in the Fourth Congressional District. In addition to an undergraduate degree in engineering from the University of Arkansas, Westerman holds a master's degree in forestry from Yale University.

"Trees are America's number one renewable resource. Healthy forests provide clean air, clean water, wildlife habitat, outdoor recreation opportunities, and beautiful vistas," Westerman said. "But healthy forests don't just happen. A wide range of professionals from research scientists and foresters to technicians, loggers, machinery operators and the remaining 28,000 Arkansans employed in forestry and its related mills and processing facilities all play a key part in healthy forests in the Natural State."

"The timber industry generates over $3 billion a year for our state's economy and supports jobs for thousands of Arkansans. Its impact on our economy cannot be overstated," Boozman said. "That's why it is important that Congressman Westerman and I take this opportunity to visit our timber farms, mills, and factories to speak directly with those whose livelihoods are tied to the decisions we make in Washington. We need to hear from them about what Congress should be doing to help this important industry continue to thrive in Arkansas."

According to the Arkansas Forestry Association, 28,057 Arkansans are directly employed in the forestry and forest products industry with an average annual income of more than $49,000. The Arkansas Forest Resources Center reports an additional 41,755 indirect and induced jobs resulting from the forestry industry. The total economic impact of forestry to the state of Arkansas is $3.2 billion, the AFA reports, while the AFSC notes an additional $3.4 billion in indirect and induced economic impact.

During the forestry tour, Boozman and Westerman examined forestry from the birth of a tree through its lifecycle, including its use in forest products such as paper and building materials, including wood pellets for electricity and heating. The tour will also feature proper forest management and the positive environmental impacts achieved through conservation efforts.

An op-ed written by Boozman and Westerman is available at

EPA Announces Teleconference for October Meeting of Scientific Advisory Board Panel on Biogenic Carbon

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced the next meeting of its Scientific Advisory Board panel evaluating biogenic carbon emissions. Scheduled for October 12, the meeting will be available by teleconference for members interested in following along. The panel will continue to discuss its Assessment Framework for Biogenic Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Stationary Sources, which will likely determine how biomass plays a role in the Clean Power Plan and other EPA rulemakings. 

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

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Host an Event for Bioenergy Day 2016, Taking Place October 19

October 19, 2016, marks the Fourth Annual Bioenergy Day! Many pellet fuels manufacturers are planning facility tours and other events to emphasize the many economic and environmental benefits of bioenergy to elected officials, customers, the media and other stakeholders.

We urge anyone interested in building ties to their communities to consider hosting a Bioenergy Day event, either on your own or jointly with other bioenergy businesses or supporters in your region.  There are many resources available to help you plan, including a Participation Guide on the Bioenergy Day website. Previous participants are also willing to share best practices, lessons learned, and other tips to ensure a smooth and successful event. 

Thanks to many sponsors, including the U.S. Forest Service, and participants, Bioenergy Day has grown each year. Organizations across the country have engaged their communities on bioenergy, earning dozens of media stories and helping more people understand bioenergy. State and local governments, elected officials, universities and businesses have all recognized bioenergy in its many forms. Biomass power, domestic and export pellets, biogas, anaerobic digesters, combined heat and power - all of these types of bioenergy are part of Bioenergy Day.

To learn more, visit, or send an email to Carrie Annand at [email protected]


Upcoming Industry Events 

September 26-28, 2016: Asia-Pacific Biomass Energy Technology & Equipment Expo

October 11-13, 2016: Heating the Midwest Conference & Expo

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Industry News

N.H. Firewood, Wood Pellet Supllies are Strong, Prices Slightly Lower
Valley News
Thanks in part to last year's warm winter, people who heat their homes with wood should have no trouble buying fuel this season, unlike the scrambles of 2014, and may pay slightly less than last year.

"Availability (of firewood) is really good this year. Everybody still has some left over," said Scott Michaud, manager of Burton Outdoor Living in Bow, which sold about 700 cords of firewood last year.

Read the Full Article

Bayou Wood Pellets Equipment to be Sold at Auction
Biomass Magazine
Maas Companies Inc. has announced it will liquidate the assets West Monroe, Louisiana-based Bayou Wood Pellets via a lender-ordered auction on Sept. 20. The 14,000 square foot industrial building and 130,000-ton-per-year wood pellet equipment will be sold separately.

Read the Full Article

Determining the Value of Existing Pellet Plants
Biomass Magazine Column by Bill Strauss
Low crude oil prices have driven the cost of heating oil in the U.S. below the cost of wood pellets for the equivalent energy in most locations. The impact on the heating pellet sector is very challenging in the Northeast, which is disproportionally reliant on heating oil compared to the rest of the U.S. At current prices, heating oil is about $200 cheaper per year.

The gap has come down in recent months as pellet prices have dropped. But low heating oil prices combined with a relatively warm 2015-'16 winter have significantly dampened demand for premium wood pellets. Inventory levels remain high. Until crude oil prices go above about $65 per barrel, it is likely that the premium wood pellet market demand will continue to have dampened demand, and downward pressure on the retail prices for pellets.   

Read the Full Article

Grass Pellet Hold Promise in New Home Heating Market
Times Tribune - Scranton, PA
It churns, it burns and it could save homeowners thousands in home heating costs.

Some regional agronomists have devised a way to press grass into pellets. They hope to jump start what could be the next biofuel home heating market.

"That's what we're doing here - we're trying to get people to use a product and people to make a product," said George E. Kauffman III, executive director of the Pocono Northeast Resource Conservation & Development Council in Dalton.

Read the Full Article


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