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Wood production strong in February, saw lumber and hiring rise
Construction employers added 15,000 workers in February, despite harsh weather, raising industry employment to the highest level since June 2009, continuing an upbeat trend.
“The rate of construction hiring has outpaced job growth in the overall economy for the past year,” said Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Association of General Contractors. Construction employment at 5,941,000 was at its highest total in 4.5 years.
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Can these 3 companies save the biofuels business?
The Motley Fool
Energy and oil are at the very heart of everything that drives modern society. It's much more than just the black stuff that comes out of the ground and then goes into our cars. Oil is central to every consumer good we buy, the medical devices we depend on for health, and as a feedstock to produce fertilizers for the food we eat. It's cheap, it's ubiquitous and it's getting harder to find — and harder to get at.
DNR offering emergency fuelwood permits
While temperatures are starting to peek above zero once again, the ongoing extreme cold has affected many residents who use firewood as a heating source.
The Department of Natural Resources normally starts selling fuelwood permits in April. Because of this year’s harsh winter, it’s issuing permits early to residents who have located dead and downed firewood on state-owned land.
Wood paneling, revisited
There are many things that can be done with wood paneled walls to make a room more enjoyable. This article presents a take on removing wood panels, applying sheet-type wood paneling and painting.
Craftsman repurposes old wood as furniture
It’s barely 5 p.m. on a week night, and the buzzy Rock Creek restaurant in Seattle’s artsy Fremont neighborhood is already filling up. But Michael Marian is in no rush to claim a spot.
It’s a familiar exercise, and one Marian performs all over town, now that his company, Marian Built, which brings new life and purpose to reclaimed materials, has caught fire faster than a barn in August.
Ice storm ravages forestry industry
The Press and Standard
The South Carolina Forestry Commission is projecting that the ice storm of Feb. 11, and 12, caused an estimated $20 million damage to Colleton County’s timberlands.
Recently, Forest Commission officials reported the bulk of the ice storm timber damage occurred in 24 South Carolina Counties, affecting 1.5 million acres of forest. They estimate the damage state-wide totaled $360 million.
Rothschild biomass plant only getting 10 percent of fuel from forest waste as proposed
Greenbay Presss Gazette
The recently built power plant at Domtar paper mill in central Wisconsin is getting only 10 percent of its fuel from logging waste, which originally was supposed to supply nearly all of the plant’s energy needs.
The 50-megawatt, $255 million power plant went online in November to provide steam for Domtar’s paper operations and a clean source of power for We Energies. The plant will burn 500,000 tons of biomass annually, said Cathy Schulze, a We Energies spokeswoman.
Sawmills dropping the ball on safety, inspection blitz finds
The Globe and Mail
Safety inspectors from WorkSafeBC conducted 249 inspections this winter targeting combustible dust – a campaign that was prompted by dust-fuelled explosions that destroyed sawmills in Burns Lake and Prince George, killing four workers and injuring dozens more, early in 2012.
Despite new regulations and millions of dollars worth of safety upgrades in the past two years, inspectors found equipment “buried” in wood dust, mill sections that hadn’t seen a cleanup crew in months, and damaged ventilation systems.
Pulp turned into power
New regulation means invasive native species and timber by-products currently made into pulp for paper production, will instead be burnt to generate electricity.
Minister for Resources and Energy Anthony Roberts announced changes to the Protection of the Environment Operations Regulation allowing two additional types of biomaterials to be used for energy.
Wood pellet shortage across New England
Although the U.S. has had more than its fair share of cold weather this winter, a particular source of heat has been in short supply.
Due to the extreme cold, wood pellet fuel has been scare because most retailers burned through their winter stock, without more deliveries from their suppliers scheduled.
Torrington’s CT Pellet, however, was still giving their regular customers a warm feeling.
Louisiana biofuels industry branching out
Louisiana possesses the most renewable diesel production capacity in the country and possibly the world. The bulk of that production lies in the Baton Rouge and New Orleans regions.
Emerald Biofuels’ 85-million-gallon plant in Plaquemine will lift that capacity to around 300 million gallons.
Obama wildfire proposal could help Wisconsin timber industry by safeguarding forestry funds
The Associated Press via Star Tribune
President Barack Obama has proposed using disaster funds to help fight wildfires to avoid draining forestry budgets, a move that could help boost Wisconsin's timber industry.
More than half of the federal forestry budget is devoted to fighting wildfires, up from 20 percent decades ago, Gannett Wisconsin Media reported recently.
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