– by Hillary Borrud, February 26, 2016, East Oregonian
The latest version of an Oregon bill to double the state’s renewable energy mandate would also expand incentives to build and operate power plants that burn wood.
Lawmakers added a provision on biomass to the bill Thursday night, in an effort to gain support of state Sen. Chris Edwards, D-Eugene, who was previously lukewarm on the legislation.
Biomass is politically popular in rural areas of the state and communities with timber mills where wood waste can be used as fuel. At the same time, some environmentalists have questioned whether biomass should qualify as renewable energy, and researchers have found burning wood can release more carbon than coal.