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U.S. Pellet Fuels Institute supports BCAP

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U.S. Pellet Fuels Institute supports BCAP
The U.S.-based Pellet Fuels Institute has submitted comments on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's proposed rules regarding the Biomass Crop Assistance Program.


April 14, 2010
By Canadian Biomass

Apr.
14, 2010, Arlington, VA – The U.S.-based Pellet Fuels Institute (PFI) has
submitted comments on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)'s proposed
rules regarding the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). PFI supports BCAP
and believes that it has helped the U.S. biomass industry survive the economic
downturn. It says that a majority of the U.S. pellet industry has benefited
from the aid of the BCAP program and supports the continuation of its
assistance. As of 2009, pellet manufacturing directly employed approximately
2,300 people in the United States and supported thousands of industry-related
jobs in fields such as transportation and logging. However, PFI has some
concerns with the proposed rule, especially the matching payment options.

"PFI
believes that the $45 per dry ton matching payment for eligible biomass
materials should remain in place. All uses of biomass material should be
treated equally in all matters. This proposed rule should not favour one
technology or application over the others," says Don Kaiser, executive
director of PFI. "To favour one technology/use of the feedstock would put
the other worthwhile uses in a competitive disadvantage and could result in a
distorted and unfair market for biomass industries. PFI recommends that the
Farm Service Agency implement the program to ensure that it is both technology
and feedstock neutral and that all biomass energy conversion technologies
qualify equally."

Further,
PFI says that it has grave concerns with the tapering of the eligible material
definition in the proposed rule to exclude vegetative wastes, including wood
wastes and wood residues that would otherwise be used for "higher value
products.” The use of these feedstocks in the production of pellets is the
highest value product in many areas and should not be excluded in this proposed
rule. PFI says that it seeks to work with the USDA to develop a program that is
fair to all biomass industries.

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