Saturday, June 13, 2009

US Senate Leaders Join Obama and EPN in Seeking to Close Black Liquor Loophole

Bloomberg reported yesterday that US Senators Max Baucus (Democrat-Montana) and Charles Grassley (Republican-Iowa), have introduced legislation to close the black liquor loophole that is costing taxpayers billions of dollars, decreasing efficiency at US pulp mills, and threatening the demise of the US recycled paper industry.

Though some from the industry are being very misleading about the original intent of this alternative fuels tax credit, Senator Baucus is factually correct, “This credit was not meant to provide a boon to companies for a process they’ve already been doing for several decades,” Baucus said.

Meanwhile, Domtar is playing games with its workers, encouraging them to rally and lobby against he loophole in Canada, and urging them to rally and lobby for it in the United States. Their ideal outcome: A nice big handout from BOTH the US and Canada. The losers: all of us, including the workers, as this temporary financial bailout will not do anything to ensure that long term failures of the industry to be competitive are resolved and that the industry in unprepared for the coming low-carbon economy. Next year, without another miracle and/or corporate welfare from the state, it will be another crisis and more massive layoffs.

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