FOREST PRODUCTS WORKERS VISIT CAPITOL HILL TO DISCUSS POLICIES IMPACTING MANUFACTURING JOBS AND THE ENVIRONMENT WHILE COMMEMORATING THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE PULP AND PAPERWORKERS’ RESOURCE COUNCIL
WASHINGTON, June 24, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — More than 70 American workers employed in the U.S. forest products industry descended on Washington, D.C., this week and made approximately 365 visits with Members of Congress. Their goal: to educate elected officials on the impacts of legislative and regulatory decisions on the environment, as well as the families and communities that depend on forest products manufacturing for their livelihood.
The group of workers from the Pulp & Paperworkers’ Resource Council (PPRC), a grassroots organization of hourly employees in the forest products industry, are passionate about educating Members of Congress and administrative officials at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Office of Management and Budget, and other government agencies on issues affecting American manufacturing jobs in their industry. They represented 50 mills across 21 states.
“Our 30th Anniversary Fly-in provides the PPRC with a wonderful opportunity to visit with Congressional and Administration leaders on environmental issues impacting our industry — especially on topics like carbon neutrality of biomass, paper recycling, and forest management,” said PPRC Chairman David Wise. “The importance of clear, common-sense legislation and regulatory policy cannot be understated, as that foundation is vital to supporting continued growth of manufacturing jobs in rural and urban communities and ensuring a competitive playing field for the American forest products industry in the global market.”
The PPRC specifically discussed several issues with members of Congress, including:
- Improving the Health of Federal Forests – The PPRC supports measures to better manage our forests to increase resilience and growth in the wake of fires, hurricanes, disease, insects and natural disasters. PPRC would support legislation to help fund fire suppression, forest inventory and sustainable forest management.
- Reforming the Endangered Species Act (ESA) – Protecting truly endangered species is in the best interests of the public. The impact on people, property and jobs should be evaluated when making the regulations. The ESA should be modernized and updated with Congressional oversight on the social and economic costs of an ESA listing. Any listing should be based on objective and verifiable science with flexibility giving states and local governments a greater role in ESA decisions.
- Paper Recycling is an Environmental Success Story – Highly recycled paper products should not be included in Federal Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) legislation. The U.S. paper recycling rate was 68 percent in 2021. The recycling rate for old corrugated containers (OCC) was 91.4 percent. According to the EPA, by weight, more paper is recovered for recycling from municipal solid waste streams than metals, plastics and glass combined.
- Improving U.S.-based Sustainable Manufacturing and Addressing the Regulatory Burden – The PPRC recommends EPA consider the cumulative impact of upcoming regulations with the goal of achieving sustainable regulation that meets economic and environmental needs and social expectations. This will allow the U.S. forest products industry to continue to be an American success story. Upcoming regulations cover air emissions, beneficial use of mill residuals, water effluent, carbon, and greenhouse gas regulations, among others.
The PPRC members also thanked the Members of Congress who have joined the Paper and Packaging Caucus, and those Members who attended the Caucus Congressional Reception on June 21.
The PPRC is a grassroots labor organization led by hourly employees advocating for the U.S. forest products industry. We support policies that encourage economic growth, an abundant and sustainable fiber supply, and sensible science-based environmental policies. The U.S. forest products industry is vitally important to our nation’s economy, employing approximately 950,000 people. We rank among the top 10 manufacturers in 45 states and represent 4% of total U.S. manufacturing GDP. We are people dedicated to conserving the environment while taking into account the economic stability of the workforce and surrounding community.
PULP & PAPERWORKERS’ RESOURCE COUNCIL
Representing members of: USW, IAM, IBEW, IBT, UBC, Firemen & Oilers and Forest Product Industry Workers. For more information and to see the PPRC Position Summary papers from 2022, please visit www.thepprc.org.
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SOURCE The Pulp & Paperworkers’ Resource Council
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