A Letter from Tim Portz to Government Officials Regarding COVID-19

March 23, 2020

Governor Newsom;

On behalf of the members of the Pellet Fuels Institute and the rest of the nation’s manufacturers of wood pellets, we ask you to classify wood pellet manufacturing as an essential business and eligible for exemption from any statewide business shutdown. Doing so will align California’s policy with the advisory issued by the Department of Homeland Security on March 19, 2020, where members of the wood products industry were identified as “essential critical infrastructure workforce”.

Nearly one million American households rely on wood pellets for their primary home heating source. Without our product, these households are at risk of being unable to adequately heat their primary residence.

While in most parts of the country the 2019-20 home heating season is winding down, wood pellet manufacturing requires year-round production to meet seasonal demand. Impeding the manufacture of wood pellets, even temporarily, will have an impact on available supply later this fall.

Finally, wood pellet manufacturers play an integral role in the broader forest products manufacturing sector via the utilization of waste and residue streams generated by other manufacturers. Without the demand for these residues generated by wood pellet manufacturers, waste disposal becomes a very real bottleneck for other forest products industry participants.

Please recognize the wood pellet manufacturing sector for what is, an essential business relied upon by millions of Americans for something as basic as heat for their homes.


Tim Portz
Executive Director
Pellet Fuels Institute
[email protected]

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