The "biomass thermal production" part of this bill would subsidize industry for converting to wood-burning furnaces--dirty energy.
It would not address concerns with wildlife habitat loss, net energy footprint, greenhouse gas emissions, or particulate emissions that can be big problems with wood-burning furnaces.
It would have Minnesotans pay for dirty-energy production and the accelerated destruction of wildlife habitat.
What's the upside? A subsidy for the logging industry. Is it worth the cost? Where's the cost/benefit analysis? Not yet attached to the bill on 2/14/2015. The House version is scheduled for a hearing next Wednesday, 2/18/2015.
The other two parts of this bill are at a more high-tech level, harder to see through, and also lacking a cost/benefit analysis. They would subsidize the production of fuel ("advanced biofuels production") and other chemicals ("renewable chemical production") from wood. At least the production of biofuels is regulated by the U.S. Energy Independence And Security Act of 2007, which requires them to have lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions lower than administrative "baselines." We might have to worry about who's setting the "baseline," but at least there is one.
$2.5 million every year from the General Fund (MN taxpayers).
It might be an interesting hearing, or maybe just a glowing report without a cost/benefit analysis. Good one to watch.