A comprehensive discussion of relevant policies for forest bioenergy must include the entire life cycle of the material, including land use and feedstock production (i.e., harvesting woody biomass) as well as energy production. The use of the residuals of wood product manufacturing has a long history as a sustainable thermal bioenergy source, but new bioenergy processes (e.g., the use of wood pellets) have emerged. To achieve deep decarbonization, providing alternatives to fossil fuel use as well as promoting carbon sequestration will be necessary. The net benefit of forest bioenergy as an alternative to fossil fuel use has generated controversy, not least of which is how the carbon flows through the life cycle. Policy vehicles that address land use issues, carbon accounting, Federal vs state-based oversight and the positioning of forest bioenergy as a renewable fuel will be explored.