Monday, May 2, 2011

From wood waste to jet fuel - Stanford bill gets gubernatorial approval

A bill “to emphasize important new policy both for the environment and for the aerospace industry” is now the law of the state. Prime sponsored by state Rep. Derek Stanford, House Bill 1422 was recently signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire.

The measure sets up a biomass pilot project to create jet fuel from wood waste. Stanford’s idea builds on last year’s Forest Biomass Initiative. Says the Washington State of Department Natural Resources: “The goal of the biomass initiative is to fill a void in assembling people to forge public-private partnerships among forest biomass suppliers, biomass purchasers, energy producers, communities and state agencies to utilize biomass materials for renewable energy generation.”

What we’re talking about here, folks, is nothing less than the making of jet fuel out of wood waste. No, it’s not some wild storybook alchemy. It’s not someone’s fantastical pipe dream. It’s a cutting-edge new idea that simply makes plain-old common sense – whether you look at it from an economic-development perspective or from another decisive viewpoint that goes by the three-word name of green-energy expansion.

“A biomass-to-fuel emphasis will spur investment in new technology for renewable energy. And this is exactly what we need to generate new green jobs and to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels,” Stanford emphasized. “This work is critical for our energy security and for the environment – a great win-win for Washington people with no cost to their state budget.”

Stanford also pointed out that “this legislation is good for the environment and the aerospace industry – two areas of immense importance to every Washingtonian.”

Finally, Stanford stated that manufacturing jet fuel more economically and environmentally correct is the right thing to do in view of the fact that its consumption has grown so much over the past quarter-century:
  • Every year 2.2 billion people fly, with passenger traffic actually growing the last 10 years by 45 percent.
  • Every year airplanes transport 35 percent of all international trade in goods.
  • The aviation industry is responsible for two percent of global anthropogenic GHG emissions.
  • Bio-derived fuels offer the prospect of significantly lower CO2 emissions, when one looks at this equation from a lifecycle perspective compared to a fossil-based jet-fuel perspective.
(Photo: from DNR blog)