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Washington governor delays action on biomass bill

LONGVIEW, Washington (From The Daily News) -- At the last minute Monday, the administration of Gov. Jay Inslee delayed a decision on a bill that would help KapStone's Longview pulp mill profit from production of renewable biomass energy.

Inslee initially was expected to sign the bill Monday morning, but his office withdrew it for further review and rescheduled it for his signature May 16, the governor's press office said. Spokeswoman Tara Lee said the governor still is expected to sign the measure, but she said nothing is certain until it is inked.

The bill would allow older biomass facilities like the one owned by KapStone to sell renewable energy credits. KapStone stands to earn hundreds of thousands of dollars annually under the legislation. The bill glided through both houses of the Legislature. It was sponsored by state Sen. Dean Takko, D-Longview.

Burning wood waste (biomass) to generate electricity is considered a carbon-neutral form of energy because the wood on its own would eventually decay and release stored-up carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. So biomass is considered renewable energy that does not add to global climate change.

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