“To not allow products like black liquor to count as renewable energy, as other states do, puts these mills at a competitive disadvantage in bidding for contracts that require renewable energy use,” said Hatfield. “The 1999 date was total arbitrary. No reason has ever been given as to why biomass facilities in operation before that were not eligible and it certainly would not be worth the hundreds of family wage jobs that would be lost at those mills.”
“Successful passage of ESSB 5575 recognizes the biomass energy we generate on site as renewable. This legislation will assist in maintaining the long-term economic viability of our Longview facility and thus preserve the hundreds of good family wage paying jobs at the facility,” said Tim Haynes, vice president and mill manager of the Weyerhaeuser Longview Facility. “Weyerhaeuser would like to thank Sen. Hatfield for championing and overseeing successful passage of this most important piece of legislation.”
The bill was approved by the Senate and House of Representatives on 45-1 and 89-9 votes. It was signed into law by Gov. Chris Gregoire on March 7th.