The biomass industry continues to rise in Washington. Plants are being built or planned across the state, and just weeks ago the Legislature passed a bill that makes electricity produced from older biomass facilities eligible under Initiative 937, the state’s renewable energy mandate.
Last month State Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark released a report showing that 3 million tons of woody biomass, double the amount that’s currently extracted, can be removed from the state’s forests without hurting forest health. The future is bright, indeed.
But despite the industry’s success, environmental groups are still waging a persistent campaign to try to halt biomass projects around the state. Don Brunell, the president of the Association of Washington Business, had an op-ed that ran recently in several papers calling out the environmentalists for their hypocrisy. According to Brunell, the opposition from environmental groups hits especially hard on the west edge of the state.
The two most visible biomass projects in the works right now are in Port Townsend and Port Angeles. As the Peninsula Daily News points out, environmental groups have been unsuccessful in stopping the projects, and the Port Angeles mayor recently wrote a letter of appreciation to the owner of the proposed biomass plant there.
From One Voice For Working Forests: http://www.onevoiceforworkingforests.com/2012/04/environmental-groups-flip-flop-on-biomass/Tags: Association of Washington Business, Don Brunell, Initiative 937, Peninsula Daily News, Peter Goldmark, Port Angeles biomass project, Port Townsend biomass project, Washington biomass, Washington biomass industry, Washington woody biomass