On April 26, 2012, Sen. Gail Schwartz and Rep. Don Coram introduced SB 12-180 – Concerning Measures to Encourage the Use of Colorado Forest Biomass as a Source of Renewable Energy. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.
The bill develops a variety of legislative responses to address the risks caused by diseased and falling trees, pest epidemics, and fire to Colorado’s forests and water systems, including:
- Encourages the Colorado state forest service to further collaborate with the United States forest service to address the risk of wildfire in our forest ecosystems;
- Encourages the Colorado Economic Development Commission, in collaboration with the Colorado Department of Agriculture, to promote forest products derived from Colorado forests;
- Encourages the air quality control commission to identify residential, commercial, and industrial equipment, specifically with respect to equipment fueled by woody biomass, that meets air emissions standards;
- Encourages the Colorado agricultural value-added development board to prioritize silviculture energy grant requests in applying the “advancing Colorado’s renewable energy” program and extending funding for the program until fiscal year 2016-17;
- Expands the definition of “conservation easement in gross” to include sustainable ecosystem management and reforestation;
- Creates renewable energy enterprise areas to promote tax credits and incentives for investments made to businesses and facilities in the woody biomass industry and presenting geographic designations of the areas to an enterprise zone review task force for review, and authorizes the executive director of the Department of Revenue to promote the tax credits;
- Amends Colorado’s renewable energy standard to encourage the public utilities commission to give priority to biomass derived from insect-killed or insect-diseased timber and other forest products in providing credit multipliers; and
- Creates a work group to evaluate renewable thermal and cogeneration technologies in Colorado, identify potential investment incentives for the technologies, and explore the development of a renewable energy credit market for these technologies.
The bill is assigned to the Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Energy Committee and is scheduled for committee review on Tuesday, May 1 at 7:30 a.m.
Since this summary, the bill was postponed indefinitely in committee.
Summaries of other featured bills can be found here.