American workers employed in the U.S. forest products industry visited Washington, D.C. this week to meet with members of Congress and administration officials. Their goal was to educate elected and appointed officials and staffers on the impact of legislative and regulatory decisions both on the environment and on the families and communities that depend on forest products manufacturing for their livelihood.
The Pulp & Paperworkers’ Resource Council is a grassroots organization of hourly employees of the forest products industry who educate on issues that impact jobs in their industry. More than 70 PPRC members from across the U.S. were in Washington this week to discuss several issues including the carbon neutrality of biomass and manufacturing byproducts, clean water, the regulatory burden impacting American manufacturing, endangered species, renewable energy, greenhouse gas regulations, truck weight reform and ensuring the competitiveness of the U.S. forest products industry.
In addition to meeting with their members of Congress, PPRC members met with administration officials of the OMB, EPA, CEQ, Senate Minority Whip Durbin, House Majority Leader Cornyn, Honorable Steny Hoyer-Democratic Whip, Speaker of the House Boehner, DOT, Office of the Vice President, Senate President Pro Tem Orrin Hatch, Joint meeting with the Department of Interior & U.S. Fish & Wild Life, and the Forest Service. During their three days of meetings, PPRC members made 404 legislative and administration visits.
“We are at a time in this country where there is a glimmer of economic recovery, but communities around the country still need the types of good-paying jobs that forest products manufacturing provides — whether it’s making paper, building products, bath tissue or boxes,” said Patti Barber, PPRC chairwoman.
“We make products that Americans use every day. The PPRC believes that our elected and government officials need to protect the environment while at the same time support the health and competitiveness of the U.S. Forest Products Industry. Burdensome regulations and legislation ultimately only hurt the U.S. workers we represent and the communities where we live, work and play. Our industry represents more than 4 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP; it employs about 900,000 people — many in small, rural communities; generates total wages of approximately $50 billion in communities across our country; and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 47 states.”