Washington’s commissioner of public lands announces aviation biofuel project during biomass conference keynote.
By Lisa Gibson | February 22, 2011

Peter Goldmark, commissioner of Public Lands for the Washington Department of Natural Resources, kicked off the Pacific West Biomass Conference & Trade Show Jan. 11 in Seattle by announcing phase two of his Forest Biomass Initiative.

Goldmark said he planned to roll out a bill for an aviation biofuel pilot facility. The project will use biomass from state trust lands and help clean up emissions from an industry that continues to grow exponentially. “There’s ample market here, folks,” he said, citing increased numbers of airline passengers and amounts of fuel used.

The bill will not only establish an aviation biofuel pilot facility, but will mobilize stakeholders in developing a woody biomass supply chain. Phase one of the initiative involved the establishment of four pilot projects, two of which have been successful. One is a combined-heat-and-power plant at the Port Angeles Nippon paper mill and the other, in Borgford, produces wood oil through pyrolysis. The others hit insurmountable challenges and are not proceeding, Goldmark said. The initiative was launched with multiple goals in mind including job creation and clean energy production.

Goldmark also took advantage of the opportunity to announce a supply study by Washington State University. “It will help landowners realize how much they can use sustainably,” he said. “And I say that word ‘sustainably’ over and over again.”

—Lisa Gibson