Ansi Approves Green Building Standard
The American National Standards Institute's (ANSI) first-ever approval of a green building rating system, the National Green Building Standard, is a major boost to the environmental and energy efficiency goals of green building and validates wood's role in reaching those goals, according to American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Donna Harman.
Approval of the National Green Building Standard, developed by the National Home Builders Research Center, means that the Standard has been developed according to rigorous policies of openness, balance, consensus, and due process.
"ANSI's approval is a major step forward. Builders, remodelers, and developers who were waiting for high-quality technical resources that have achieved the national consensus and certainty that comes with an ANSI-accredited standard, now have it, and I believe that we can expect to see green building practices become increasingly mainstream," said Harman.
WWPA Reports Output Low in 2008
In February, the Western Wood Products Association announced that western lumber production was down 20.9% in 2008. Production finished at 12.903 billion board feet. To no one's surprise, all the regions were down in production. The Coast region's output fell 22.3% in 2008 compared to 2007, the Inland region fell 17.6%, and production in the California Redwood region was off 29.1%.
The WWPA reported that U.S. lumber production was also down. U.S. lumber output totaled 27.238 billion board feet through November 2008. That figure is down 17.3% from the Jan-Nov. 2007 total.
AEM Names Levenick
Stuart L. Levenick, Group President of Caterpillar Inc. has been named to the Board of Directors of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), the North American-based international trade group for companies that manufacture equipment, products, and services used worldwide in the agricultural, construction, forestry, mining, and utility sectors. www.aem.org
New Men at the WWPA Helm
WWPA promoted Kevin Binam, former Economic Services Manager, as Vice President and Director, Quality Services. He succeeds retiring Tom Hanneman. David J. Jackson has stepped up as the new Economic Services Manager, replacing Binam. Jackson has had extensive experience in forestry and log procurement, with previous jobs at J.R. Simplot, Trask River Lumber, Oregon State University, Mississippi State, and a community development organization in Kentucky.
AF&PA's Six-Point Plan for Economic Recovery
In January, AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman and AF&PA member companies presented their ideas to senior members of President-elect Obama's economic and environmental transition teams. The plan has also been shared with leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
Details of AF&PA's plan include, among other things:
Support Existing Renewable Energy Investments: The forest products industry is the nation's largest source of renewable biomass energy, generating approximately 80 percent of the nation's supply. Congress should recognize and preserve the industry's significant contributions to renewable energy and preserve the green jobs it supports by extending the Section 45 biomass tax credit to include on-site use of electricity produced from biomass.
Improve Transportation Efficiency: Increase gross vehicle weight limit from 80,000 to 97,000 pounds for vehicles equipped with an additional axle. This decreases highway congestion and fuel consumption, while increasing manufacturing and agriculture efficiency.
Revitalize Housing: Enhance the Home Buyer Tax Credit to stimulate purchases of new and existing homes and provide low-rate mortgages for future home purchases.
Corporate AMT/NOL (Net Oper-ating Loss) Reform: Help industries that have incurred losses in recent years by enacting provisions similar to those in 2002's Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act. Extend to five years the current two-year carry-back period for NOL's incurred in 2008 and 2009, as well as suspend the 90 percent limitation on the utilization of AMT NOL's for losses generated or taken as carry forwards for 2008 and 2009.
Protect Pensions and the Companies That Pay Them: With the economic downturn decreasing the value of many pension plan assets, the reforms in last year's Worker, Retiree, and Employer Recovery Act should be expanded to ensure a healthy private pension system for American workers.
Invest in Public Resources - the Nation's Forests: As part of efforts to invest in publicly-owned resources like highways and schools, Congress and the Administration should invest needed resources to better manage the nation's public resources through hazardous fuel reduction and burned area reforestation and rehabilitation, while improving the ability to fight catastrophic fires.