HB 3003 Creates CAT credit for using juniper biomass

VOTE:YES – Died In Committee
Status (overview) of bill:https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2023R1/Measures/Overview/HB3003
Committee assigned to bill:https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2023R1/Committees/JCTE/Overview

This bill creates income or corporate excise tax (CAT) credit for electric utility that purchases electricity produced using a fuel source that is at least 50 percent qualifying western juniper biomass.

Support for any bill with CAT credit is a good thing to give businesses a chance to survive and thrive.

This bill has an administration setup that seems excessive: three levels of fees that adds to the end product and gives the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) the ability to set the fee, the control of ODOE over areas that should be Department of  Forestry’s decision. Why limit the CAT credit to electric utilities and why limit the CAT credit to 50% use of western juniper biomass. If it is used, it is used. What difference does the percentage make. It might be easier to mix if in smaller  percentages, and allow smaller utilities to participate (if the fees don’t eat up the incentive)..

Western juniper is a species of tree native to Eastern Oregon and Northeastern California. In the last 150 years, there has been a 300–1,000 percent increase in acreage occupied by western juniper in Oregon. The species can out-compete rangeland vegetation and is not resistant to fire, which has led to concerns about further spread. Western juniper can be used as biomass—a renewable or recurring organic matter—to produce biofuels, which are processed, ready-to-use energy sources such as liquid, gaseous, or solid fuels.

Biomass was used to generate about five percent of total U.S. energy consumed in 2021. The majority of this energy was consumed by the industrial (48 percent) and transportation (31 percent) sectors, while nine percent was used by electric power producers. In 2020, ODOE reports that 0.4 percent of Oregon electricity was produced from biomass sources. Oregon law (ORS 315.141(3)) previously provided a tax credit for individual or corporate taxpayers who collect biomass used for biofuel production. This tax credit for biomass collection sunset after

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