Source: MONTCLAIR STATE COLL submitted to
ASSESSING SOCIOECONOMIC IMPACTS OF FOREST BIOMASS BASED BIOFUEL DEVELOPMENT ON RURAL COMMUNITIES IN THE SOUTHERN UNITED STATES (U.S.).
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
NEW
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0229744
Grant No.
2012-67009-19742
Project No.
NJW-2012-00899
Proposal No.
2012-00899
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
A6124
Project Start Date
Aug 1, 2012
Project End Date
Jul 31, 2015
Grant Year
2012
Project Director
Lal, P.
Recipient Organization
MONTCLAIR STATE COLL
347 RICHARDSON HALL 1 NORMAL AVENUE
UPPER MONTCLAIR,NJ 07043
Performing Department
Earth & Environmental Studies
Non Technical Summary
Federal policies such as the 2002 Farm Bill, 2005 Energy Policy Act, 2007 Energy Independence Security Act and 2008 Farm Bill have specifically encouraged the production of cellulosic biofuels such as those produced from woody sources. Forestlands present in the southern United States occupy about 28% (215 million acres) of total forestlands (751 million acres) in the nation. The thirteen southern states spanning from Texas to Virginia with around 5 million private landowners and 62 percent of the country?s total growing stock removals in 2006 are expected to play a dominant role in woody biofuels market development. Another factor that supports the importance of southern states in woody biofuel future is the fact that forest inventory volume in the South region has responded to increased management and harvesting since 1990s, when more of the harvest shifted to private lands. Woody biofuels markets can contribute to rural development benefiting local communities by generating additional revenues to nonindustrial private forest landowners and other economic agents, stimulate employment and diversify rural economies. However, delineation of economic impacts on rural communities in the region has not been systematically analyzed. We will conduct stakeholder discussions and primary surveys to assess perceived socioeconomic impacts of woody biomass based biofuel industry on landowners and other key stakeholders. We will use this information to: (i) assess stakeholder perceptions, awareness, interest, and acceptance of forest biomass based biofuels, and (ii) evaluate socioeconomic factors affecting the acceptance. Potential woody biomass based biofuel expansion scenarios will be developed based on future biofuel market emergence and socioeconomic acceptability considerations. Financial and economic models will be used to assess direct, indirect, and induced impacts of woody biomass based biofuel expansion on stakeholders and region-wide socioeconomic and distributional impacts to identify winners and losers. We will discuss farm and regional impacts of woody biofuel expansion on non-metro (rural) counties in US South, including impacts on persistent poverty and minority dominated counties. This work will further understanding of the short and long-term impacts of woody biofuel expansion in US South and the ensuing socioeconomic impacts on rural landowners, minorities, and other rural groups. The research will act as decision support tool for public and private decision makers towards woody biofuel investments and also help generate public awareness, education, and outreach programs.
Animal Health Component
90%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
10%
Applied
90%
Developmental
(N/A)
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
6050611301020%
6050650301010%
6050680301020%
6056020301030%
6106020301020%
Goals / Objectives
Our overall goal is to generate regional-scale estimates of the socioeconomic impacts of forest biofuel development on rural communities in the Southern U.S based on the region's capacity to produce forest biomass feedstocks. To achieve this goal, we will focus on three interrelated objectives: 1) Assess key stakeholders participation along the supply chains of forest biomass based biofuels markets; 2) Analyze potential direct economic and employment impacts of woody biofuel development on forestland owners, and rural communities; and 3) Estimate region-wide socioeconomic and distributional impacts of woody biofuels development. Project outputs will include: (1) Social & economic acceptability report for woody biofuels; (2) Socioeconomic impact of woody biofuel expansion on rural communities report; (3) Training of post-doctoral associate, graduate and undergraduate students in woody biofuel impact analysis; (4) Sharing project learning's at regional national and international conference presentations; and (5) Publishing peer-reviewed articles and conference proceedings.
Project Methods
We will conduct stakeholder discussions and primary surveys to assess perceived socioeconomic impacts of forest biomass based biofuel industry on landowners and other key stakeholders. We will use this information to assess stakeholder perceptions, awareness, interest, and acceptance of forest biomass based biofuels, and willingness of landowners to participate in woody biofuels market, and evaluate socioeconomic factors affecting the acceptance and willingness. Minority ownership effect will be assessed as well. Potential woody biofuel expansion scenarios will be developed based on biofuel market pathways and socioeconomic acceptability considerations. Direct, indirect, and induced impacts of forest biomass based biofuel expansion on stakeholders will be estimated through Input Output Analysis and Social Accounting Matrix (I-O/SAM) approach. We will estimate region-wide socioeconomic and distributional impacts using a computable general equilibrium model to identify winners and losers. We will delineate farm and regional impacts of woody biofuel expansion on non-metro (rural) counties in Southern U.S., including impacts on persistent poverty and minority dominated counties.