WASHINGTON – American Wood Council (AWC) President Robert Glowinski issued the following statement regarding the American Forest & Paper Association’s (AF&PA) release of a new study focused on the economic impact of pending air regulations.
Conducted by Fisher International and incorporating cost analyses from URS Engineering, the study reveals direct pulp and paper industry job losses exceeding 20,000, with 36 mills across the country at risk for closure.
“The impact on job losses reflected in this new study is cause for great concern throughout the forest products industry. Although the AF&PA study focused on job losses in the pulp and paper sector, we anticipate that jobs in the wood products sector would also be impacted. Because our facilities are much smaller in size and less able to absorb new capital costs, job losses could be at even greater rates. Under the current Boiler MACT rule, our initial total compliance costs would top $1 billion and could triple if the bio-based fuels we use are classified as waste under the related Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials rule.
“As the housing market struggles to gain footing, it would be difficult for our businesses to come up with the capital necessary to afford these excessive costs, putting tens of thousands of jobs in the wood products sector at risk. Wood products industry employment has already plunged 43 percent since early 2006, and many rural communities across the country rely on the remaining, well-paying jobs that our industry provides. In order to maintain jobs in this sector, environmental regulations need to be developed in a way that allows our businesses to survive and compete.”