House members push for biomass bill

HB 3608 Provides Incentives for Production, Transportation of Woody Biomass
By House Republican Leader Rep. Bruce Hanna,

SALEM—House Republicans today made a final effort to advance HB 3608 this session to improve Oregon’s rural economy and create desperately-needed jobs. The legislation would have provided incentives for the production and transportation of biomass but, on a partisan vote, majority Democrats rejected bringing it to the Floor for debate.

“It’s unfortunate that Democrats would kill an affordable measure to put people back to work,” Rep. Thompson said. “Providing tax incentives for harvesting woody biomass is the only effective way to encourage companies to gather and transport the material to produce renewable energy. By blocking this bill’s passage, Democratic leadership decided to put partisan politics ahead of job-creation.”

Rep. Thompson said Democratic leadership is advancing an alternative measure as a way of avoiding giving Republicans credit for a job-creation bill. However, the measure will fail to boost biomass production in the state.

“Once again, this legislature is abandoning its responsibility to help rural Oregonians during this recession,” Rep. Thompson said. “The Democrats’ measure will seriously hurt our rural counties and their ability to provide critical services to their citizens. Worst of all, it won’t create the jobs we need to help these struggling communities.”

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