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Federal Forests, Biomass, and Ethanol: Energy Security Sabotaged

February 2009

Citation: ELR 10140

Author: Evan N. Turgeon

Editors' Summary

Increasingly destructive wildfires in recent years prompted legislators to enact the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003, which authorizes mechanical thinning fuel-reduction projects on federal forestland. Almost simultaneously, political pressure compelled legislators to combat rising oil prices, resulting in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which mandate significant increases in the domestic production of biofuels used for transportation. Since the trees, branches, and underbrush removed from federal forestland can be processed into ethanol, combining these policies seems natural.

Evan N. Turgeon is a student at the University of Virginia School of Law (J.D. candidate, 2009).

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