A bill which has passed both the House and Senate will further both rural jobs and environmental quality. Under Senate Bill 5575, regulations set by Initiative 937 will be softened to include new sources of biomass energy and allow biomass facilities in operation before 1999 as eligible for renewable energy credits. Bill sponsor Sen. Brain Hatfield says it is common sense to consider products like black liquor created during paper production, liquors derived from algae and other sources, yard waste, food waste and food processing residues as eligible biomass.
Sen. Hatfield: “That is green energy. You know, it’s kind of a ‘back to the future’ sort of thing, but using your waste stream to fuel your plant only makes sense. It certainly should be considered renewable and when the governor signs this bill, it will be.”
In addition to the new biomass sources, Hatfield’s bill will also allow mills which had biomass generators in production prior to March 31, 1999, to be eligible for renewable energy credits. Without that change, Hatfield says hundreds of mill drops across the state would have been threatened.