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105th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 1st Session                                                    105-330
_______________________________________________________________________


 
    SENSE OF THE CONGRESS REGARDING MANAGEMENT OF FORESTS TO REDUCE 
                            GREENHOUSE GASES

                                _______
                                

  October 21, 1997.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 
                                printed

_______________________________________________________________________


  Mr. Young of Alaska, from the Committee on Resources, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

                    [To accompany H. Con. Res. 151]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the 
concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res. 151) expressing the sense 
of the Congress that the United States should manage its public 
domain national forests to maximize the reduction of carbon 
dioxide in the atmosphere among many other objectives and that 
the United States should serve as an example and as a world 
leader in actively managing its public domain national forests 
in a manner that substantially reduces the amount of carbon 
dioxide added to the atmosphere, having considered the same, 
report favorably thereon with amendments and recommend that the 
concurrent resolution as amended be agreed to.
  The amendments are as follows:
  Strike out all after the resolving clause and insert in lieu 
thereof the following:

That it is the sense of the Congress that the United States--
          (1) should manage its forests to maximize the reduction of 
        carbon dioxide in the atmosphere among many other objectives; 
        and
          (2) should serve as an example and as a world leader in 
        managing its forests in a manner that substantially reduces the 
        amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

  Amend the preamble to read as follows:

Whereas carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas, can be removed from the 
atmosphere by trees through photosynthesis and stored in wood;

Whereas releases of carbon dioxide can be prevented by the use of wood 
products as substitutes for products whose manufacture consumes fossil 
fuels and releases substantial amounts of carbon dioxide; and

Whereas managing our forests by planting and growing our forest resources 
will remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere: Now, therefore, be it

  Amend the title so as to read:

      Concurrent resolution expressing the sense of the 
Congress that the United States should manage its forests to 
maximize the reduction of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere 
among many other objectives, and that the United States should 
serve as an example and as a world leader in managing its 
forests in a manner that substantially reduces the amount of 
carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H. Con. Res. 151 is to express the sense of 
the Congress that the United States should manage its public 
domain national forests to maximize the reduction of carbon 
dioxide in the atmosphere among many other objectives and that 
the United States should serve as an example and as a world 
leader in actively managing its public domain national forests 
in a manner that substantially reduces the amount of carbon 
dioxide added to the atmosphere.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    Global warming has been an issue of great debate and recent 
discussion in Congress. This is due to the fact that in 
December of this year, the United Nations Framework Convention 
on Climate Change meets in Kyoto, Japan. The Clinton-Gore 
Administration has stated publicly that they intend to commit 
the United States to mandatory greenhouse gas reductions at the 
Convention.
    Science has proven to us that carbon dioxide, the leading 
greenhouse gas, can be taken out of the atmosphere by allowing 
a young vibrant forest to absorb carbon through photosynthesis. 
It is stored as wood. Carbon dioxide can also be kept out of 
the atmosphere by harvesting the forest before it begins to 
decompose or burn, thus storing the carbon in wood products 
that are environmentally friendly, as well as providing an 
economic benefit to society.
    The most extensive scientific work on this subject has been 
conducted by Dr. John Perez-Garcia, Associate Professor, 
University of Washington; Dr. Chadwick Oliver, Professor, 
University of Washington; Mr. Bruce Lippke, Professor and 
Director of the Center for International Trade in Forest 
Products; and Mr. R. Neil Sampson.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H. Con. Res. 151 was introduced on September 10, 1997, by 
Congressman Don Young (R-AK) (for himself, Mr. Gingrich, Mrs. 
Chenoweth, Mr. Taylor of North Carolina, Mr. Herger, and Mr. 
Peterson of Pennsylvania, Mr. Pombo, Mr. McInnis, Mr. Sessions, 
Mrs. Smith of Washington, Mr. Riggs, Mr. Cunningham, Mrs. 
Cubin, Mr. Nethercutt, Mr. Doolittle, Mr. Lewis of California, 
Mr. Skeen, Mr. Bob Schaffer of Colorado, Mr. Hansen, and Mr. 
Radanovich). The bill was referred to the Committee on 
Resources, and within the Committee to the Subcommittee on 
Forests and Forest Health. On September 18, 1997, the 
Subcommittee held a hearing on H. Con. Res. 151, where Dr. 
Chadwick Oliver, Dr. John Perez-Garcia and Commissioner Gordon 
Ross testified as to the scientific capabilities of forests to 
be managed in order to maximize reductions of greenhouse gases. 
Each one of the outside expert witnesses testified in support 
of H. Con. Res. 151. The Administration testified in opposition 
to H. Con. Res. 151. James R. Lyons, Undersecretary for Natural 
Resources and Environment, United States Department of 
Agriculture, stated that the Administration felt the 
resolution's focus was too narrow. On October 1, 1997, the Full 
Resources Committee met to consider H. Con. Res. 151. The 
Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health was discharged from 
further consideration of the bill. Congressman George Miller 
(D-CA) offered an amendment to broaden the scope of the bill, 
and adopted by voice vote. The bill as amended was then ordered 
favorably reported to the House of Representatives by voice 
vote.

            COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    With respect to the requirements of clause 2(l)(3) of rule 
XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, and clause 
2(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of Representatives, 
the Committee on Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

                   CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT

    Article I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United 
States grants Congress the authority to enact H. Con. Res. 151.

                        COST OF THE LEGISLATION

    Clause 7(a) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires an estimate and a comparison by the 
Committee of the costs which would be incurred in carrying out 
H. Con. Res. 151. However, clause 7(d) of that rule provides 
that this requirement does not apply when the Committee has 
included in its report a timely submitted cost estimate of the 
bill prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974.

                     COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XI

    1. With respect to the requirement of clause 2(l)(3)(B) of 
rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, H. Con. 
Res. 151 does not contain any new budget authority, credit 
authority, or an increase or decrease in revenues or tax 
expenditures. The Congressional Budget Office has suggested 
that enactment of H. Con. Res. 151 could affect direct spending 
(including offsetting receipts) by altering the amount and 
timing of timber harvested from federal lands if the U.S. 
Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management changed their 
forest management plans to include the objectives of the bill.
    2. With respect to the requirement of clause 2(l)(3)(D) of 
rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee has received no report of oversight findings and 
recommendations from the Committee on Government Reform and 
Oversight on the subject of H. Con. Res. 151.
    3. With respect to the requirement of clause 2(l)(3)(C) of 
rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the 
Committee has received the following cost estimate for H. Con. 
Res. 151 from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office.

               CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                   Washington, DC, October 7, 1997.
Hon. Don Young,
Chairman, Committee on Resources,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H. Con. Res. 151, a 
concurrent resolution expressing the sense of the Congress that 
the United States should manage its forests to maximize the 
reduction of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere among many other 
objectives, and that the United States should serve as an 
example and as a world leader in managing its forests in a 
manner that substantially reduces the amount of carbon dioxide 
in the atmosphere.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Victoria V. 
Heid.
            Sincerely,
                                         June E. O'Neill, Director.
    Enclosure.

H. Con. Res. 151--Expressing the sense of the Congress that the United 
        States should manage its forests to maximize the reduction of 
        carbon dioxide in the atmosphere among many other objectives, 
        and that the United States should serve as an example and as a 
        world leader in managing its forests in a manner that 
        substantially reduces the amount of carbon dioxide in the 
        atmosphere

    H. Con. Res. 151 expresses the sense of the Congress that 
reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere should be included 
among other objectives in managing forests. If the U.S. Forest 
Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) changed their 
forest management plans to include this additional objective, 
H. Con. Res. 151 could affect direct spending (including 
offsetting receipts) by altering the amount and timing of 
timber harvested from federal lands. However, CBO has no basis 
for predicting whether compliance with this concurrent 
resolution would increase or decrease direct spending, nor can 
we predict the magnitude of any such changes. If the agencies 
amended all the existing forest management plans to include the 
additional management objective in this concurrent resolution, 
discretionary spending would increase, subject to appropriation 
of the necessary amounts.
    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 does not apply to 
concurrent resolutions.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Victoria V. 
Heid. This estimate was approved by Paul N. Van de Water, 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4

    H. Con. Res. 151 contains no unfunded mandates.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, H. Con. Res. 151 would make no changes in 
existing law.

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

    The resolution as introduced generated significant 
opposition, including the Clinton Administration. It was 
interpreted as promoting the logging of U.S. old-growth forests 
under the guise of combating global warming. It was based on a 
flawed theory that harvesting older trees and replacing them 
young, vibrant new trees presents an alternative to mandatory 
reductions of carbon emissions from fossil fuel sources.
    But these are truly minority views, unsupported by the 
majority of the scientific community.
    I certainly agree with the Majority that forests do serve 
to remove carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas, from the 
atmosphere. But the amendment I offered in committee was 
intended to make it clear that I do not endorse any notion that 
it is desirable to increase old-growth harvest on U.S. national 
forests in an attempt to reduce global warming. Among other 
problems, that would be a horribly misguided message to send to 
the rest of the world, especially as we seek to encourage 
conservation of forest resources in the tropics and elsewhere.
    To the contrary, old-growth reserves in the U.S. should be 
encouraged. In particular, the temperate rainforests in the 
Pacific Northwest are among the most effective carbon sinks in 
the world. Mainstream science shows that when the old-growth is 
harvested, it takes many decades to recover the vast amount of 
carbon released in the process. Over 50 percent of the carbon 
dioxide captured by trees is stored in the soil, and only a 
very small portion of harvested trees actually turned into 
products which sequester carbon for any extended period of 
time.
    Carbon reduction can and should be improved by planting and 
growing more forest cover in the U.S., especially on marginal 
crop and pasture lands. That's one reason the amended 
resolution applies not only to national forests, but to all 
U.S. forests including private lands.
    In addition to sequestering carbon, forests produce many 
other benefits including protection of watersheds, reduction of 
soil erosion and conservation of biodiversity. And that's why 
the amended resolution makes clear that carbon reduction is 
only one of many forest management objectives.
    Forest-based carbon sequestration, while important, does 
not supplant the need to reduce fossil fuel emissions in order 
to combat global warming. With only a small portion of the 
world's population, the U.S. produces one-fourth of the world's 
emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases. The 
original theme underlying this resolution--that accelerated 
harvesting of U.S. old-growth forests is an alternative to 
emissions reductions--would deservedly be ridiculed by the rest 
of the world in global warming treaty negotiations.

                                                     George Miller.
                            A P P E N D I X

                              ----------                              

                          House of Representatives,
                                  Committee on Agriculture,
                                  Washington, DC, October 20, 1997.
Hon. Don Young,
Chairman, Committee on Resources,
Longworth HOB, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: Thank you for forwarding a copy of H. 
Con. Res. 151, as reported by your Committee. I noted your 
Committee adopted an amendment to H. Con. Res. 151, prior to 
reporting the Resolution, that changes its scope to embrace the 
management of all ``forests'' rather than limiting the 
Resolution as introduced to ``public domain national forests''.
    I believe we both understand that the amendment changes the 
bill sufficiently to bring it within the legislative 
jurisdiction of this Committee as provided in Rule X of the 
House Rules. However, in the interest of expediting 
consideration of H. Con. Res. 151 and in the interest of both 
of our Committees in ensuring that this Resolution, as you have 
reported it, is acted on promptly, this Committee is willing to 
waive further consideration of this Resolution so as to advance 
its early consideration in the House.
    This action is not intended to waive this Committee's 
jurisdiction over this matter for all purposes, and should this 
legislation go to conference, this Committee reserves the right 
to request to be included as conferees on any provision within 
the Committee on Agriculture's jurisdiction in the event of a 
House-Senate conference on this Resolution or its Senate 
equivalent.
    Once again, I appreciate your cooperation in this matter 
and look forward to working with you on matters of shared 
jurisdiction between our respective Committees.
            Sincerely,
                                     Robert F. (Bob) Smith,
                          Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture.