Carole King calls on Congress to crack down on logging industry
Carole King on Wednesday called on Congress to crack down on the logging industry during a House Oversight and Reform subcommittee hearing centered on forest management and reducing wildfires.
“They continue to facilitate felling mature trees under the guise of Orwellian euphemisms: thinning, fuel reduction, salvage, management, and the ever-popular restoration,” the singer-songwriter said told the panel.
Commercial logging is one of the ways the U.S. Forest Service prevents wildfires — along with prescribed burns and thinning — but advocates say that these methods are more harmful than helpful.
King warned that the industry’s rhetoric persuades the public into thinking that logging is a safe and effective form of forest management that helps in part to prevent wildfires, when it actually puts forests at risk and strips back protections against carbon emissions and climate change.
“Clear cuts are tinderboxes,” King said. “Coal, oil and gas get a lot of attention, but logging is also a huge emitter of carbon, and taxpayers have been subsidizing clear-cutting in our national forests under multiple presidents from both parties for decades. It’s institutional.”
King urged lawmakers to pass the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act, a measure she has expressed support for in the past, which she called “bold and visionary.”
She also urged lawmakers to pass a law requiring the forest service to incentivize preservation and repeal logging provisions in the recent Bipartisan infrastructure law, a notion she has expressed support for in an op-ed for The Hill.
Those logging funds should then be re-allocated to home hardening, or the process of making homes more fire resistant, King said.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) voiced support for the Biden administration’s goal of protecting 30 percent of federal lands by 2030. Without action, “all seasons will be fire seasons,” she warned amid global spikes of more frequent and intense fires raging.