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Timber Harvesting Safety

The December 17 passage of the Omnibus Appropriations bill prevents the U.S. Department of Labor from implementing an onerous “Wage Rule” that would have established non-market wage guidelines for migrant guestworkers brought to the United States under the H-2B Visa Program. Because of a provision the Forest Resources Association and other members of the H-2B Workforce Coalition worked with Congress to include, DOL may not enforce, or implement, its new Wage Rule at least until October 1, 2012.

In order to insert trucking issues forcefully within the Surface Transportation Reauthorization process, the Agriculture and Forestry Transportation Reform Coalition (AgHaul) and the Coalition for Transportation Productivity (CTP) are working with the American Trucking Associations and other trucking interest groups to stage a massive “Stand Up For Trucking” event this coming January 31-February 1 in Washington, DC.

We were intrigued with a one-minute videoclip that FedEx commissioned, to draw attention to its commitment to environmental sustainability, and released through Youtube for viral dissemination. The animated clip begins with a pristine forest scene, populated by anthropomorphic trees and animals, as well as fairies, who sway to a nursery-tale rhythm, through which a stylized FedEx delivery truck and airplane float, to be nurtured on the limbs of a grandfatherly tree.

On November 21, Enviva LP announced that it had formed a partnership with ConocoPhillips to create a new company, ECo Biomass Technologies, to manufacture and bring to market torrefied wood pellets. Enviva, which already has a large presence in wood pellet production in the U.S. and Europe, notes that “although torrefaction is widely used in many industries, its adaptation to the renewable energy industry has yet to be proven cost-effective and scalable.”

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