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EPA May Destroy Wisconsin's Paper Industry

Written By: Jerry Hanson  |  Posted: Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

            New EPA rules regulating industrial boilers will likely force many of Wisconsin's paper mills to slash production. Some may choose to close their doors. It is inevitable that these new EPA rules will result in thousands of lost jobs in Wisconsin's paper industry alone. The EPA's "Boiler MACT" (Industrial Boiler Maximum Achievable Control Technology) Rule threatens an estimated 338,000 jobs nationwide, according to a study commissioned by the Council of Industrial Boiler Owners(CIBO) and conducted by IHS Global Insight. The study concludes, "Every billion dollars spent on MACT upgrades and compliance costs will put 16,000 jobs at risk and reduce US GDP by as much as $1.2 billion." Compliance with the new rule will cost industry $20.7 billion with the total impact of 337,700 jobs, $67.4 billion in output, and $25.2 billion in value added (gross domestic product).

            Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner, Tom Petri, and Sean Duffy joined Reid Ribble in questioning Administrator Jackson and the EPA on the unintended consequences of this rule saying that it will cause undue harm to Wisconsin's forestry industry and will cost thousands of jobs. In a letter written to EPA Administrator, Lisa Jackson, they say, "Wisconsin has over 240 pulp and paper facilities employing approximately 35,000 workers in good-paying jobs.  As you are aware, a 2010 study on the impact of the original proposed rule found that Wisconsin pulp and paper facilities would have had to spend $470 million to comply with the proposed regulations.  Moreover, the American Forest and Paper Association has determined that our state would shed roughly 7,500 manufacturing jobs if the original Boiler MACT rules were to take effect."

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