Sadly, I think you are correct in predicting the demise of pulping in the US, or at least a major reduction in production.
You did not mention Canada, but same applies.
I would not finger EPA as a major factor in the issue, however. The South American pulp mills I have worked on face much tougher discharge limits than in the US, and have also often stronger public opposition than we have ever seen here.
I was predicting same as you, in another way, since about 1990. In the computer column I used to write for Pulp and Paper Canada I frequently predicted the replacement of communication grades (leaving packaging and tissue as the main products) with electronic communications, and was frequently taken to task for it. Admittedly, the electronic takeover took longer than I expected, but has been rolling since the late 1990's, and is, I think, unstoppable.
I have not issued a paper report to a client in 15 years, and I have had to read about 50,000 pages of info in litigation assignments without printing one of them.
I never predicted anything on energy.
Have a comment? Send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Unless you tell us otherwise, we will assume we can use your name if we publish your letter.
Remember, if you please, to let your suppliers know you read Nip Impressions!