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Attitudes toward Policy Instruments Promoting Wood-To-Energy Initiatives in the United States

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Abstract:

An array of policy instruments has been adopted across the United States in an effort to promote greater wood-to-energy uses. This research elicited attitudes toward wood-to-energy policy instruments among forest sector stakeholders to identify the most preferred policy tools. Test statistics identified differences between perceptions from US South and non-US South respondents regarding the capacity of tax incentives; subsidies and grants; rules and regulations; education; and consultation to meet policy ecological, economic, social, and political criteria. Examples of particular instruments adopted by various states were used to evaluate their capacity in addressing specific energy, forest management, and market dimensions of wood-to-energy policy. Results suggest preference for the implementation of education programs and the adoption of tax incentive instruments, followed by rules and regulations. US South respondents have less favorable views of subsidies and grants and rules and regulations than respondents from the rest of the country to meet policy evaluation criteria. Based on the analysis of state-specific policy tools, tax incentives were deemed the best positioned to generate more renewable energy from woody feedstocks and education and consultation were the best suited to meet energy and sustainable forest management objectives. A combination of approaches will be the most adequate to meet multiple policy criteria.

Keywords: forest policy instruments; public policy analysis; wood-to-energy

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-05-01

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Southern Journal of Applied Forestry covers an area from Virginia and Kentucky south to as far west as Oklahoma and east Texas.
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