FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 8, 2010
Commissioner Goldmark takes the next step with Biomass Initiative
Forest Biomass Supply Agreements Bill to be heard next week
OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Biomass Initiative takes the next step towards creating a new, green industry on state lands with the Forest Biomass Supply Agreements Bill that will be heard in the Legislature next week. This bill is executive-request legislation from Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark.
“The bio-energy industry is under economic stress, and this bill will make it easier for them to encourage investors,” said Goldmark. “This bill will also allow DNR another opportunity to generate revenue and help spur rural economic development.”
The Forest Biomass Supply Agreements Bill (SB 6236 / HB 2481) would allow DNR to enter into long-term biomass supply agreements with the emerging biomass energy economy. Securing reliable and predictably priced biomass feedstock supply is a major obstacle to maximizing the benefits of the emerging biomass energy economy.
The bill has no cost to the State’s General Fund and actually has the potential to generate revenues from state managed forestland.
Legislative Public Hearing and Work Session schedule
The Senate Natural Resources, Ocean & Recreation Committee will hear SB 6236 on Monday, January 11th at 1:30 p.m.
The House Technology, Energy & Communications Committee will hear their version of the biomass bill, HB 2481, following a work session on Biomass Energy on Wednesday, January 13th at 8:00 a.m.
In 2009, HB 2165 was enacted into law authorizing DNR to implement biomass energy pilot projects in eastern and western Washington.
Removing biomass feedstock in ecologically sustainable ways to produce energy (liquid fuels or heat and electricity) can:
- Provide income for forest landowners while improving forest health;
- Create rural jobs;
- Reduce wildfires and greenhouse gas emissions; and
- Aid in the production of renewable energy.
Last summer, DNR invited any interested party to submit letters of interest to become partners in the biomass pilot projects. DNR is currently in the final stage of selecting the first partners for the Biomass Initiative.
Media Contact: Aaron Toso, Director of Communications & Outreach, 360-902-1023, and firstname.lastname@example.org
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