The Composite Panel Association (CPA), representing nearly 90 percent of U.S. and Canadian wood-based panel manufacturing and related jobs, recently issued a statement applauding U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack for recognizing the value of existing markets for wood fiber, protecting rural manufacturing jobs and making essential clarifications in the USDA Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) final rule for the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). The final rule was announced last week after the program was suspended in February following concerns expressed by members of Congress along with industry and environmental groups.

“BCAP has morphed from a job killing welfare program to one that now makes economic and environmental sense,” says CPA president Tom Julia. “It is now targeted to the production of new sources of woody biomass, rather than raiding established, viable markets for the wood fiber upon which a wide range of American industries rely.”

He adds, “The final BCAP rule is a good example of how America can achieve its ambitious renewable energy and biofuel goals and the extra time that the Obama Administration spent in reconsidering the rules of the program has been entirely worthwhile.”

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