Sequim lawmaker presses for mill bio-energy

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Peninsula News Network

Olympic Peninsula, WA - Sequim Democrat Kevin Van De Wege says having paper mills generate alternative energy isn’t a new idea. But he believes the state needs to be persistent in advocating bio-energy as part of the overall discussion about climate change.

The 24th District lawmaker made the comment last week while delivering a speech to the Coastal Bio-Energy Workshop in Aberdeen.

Van de Wege says the state needs to no more to make wood-based energy a larger part of keeping “bio-energy” on “the state’s radar”.  He serves on two House committees that focus on natural resources and energy.

“Olympia has moved quickly on alternative energy, but it’s revolved around agriculture-based sources,” Van De Wege said.  “Last year I fought to have side-products from pulp and paper mills count as renewable energy sources in the climate change package, but there are many other avenues going untapped.” 

One of the efforts Van De Wege would like to see encouraged is using steam and heat from the mills, currently wasted, be used as an energy source.  Next legislative session, Van De Wege will work to give tax credits to mills using the process, called cogeneration.



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