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Press Release: February 14, 2011

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber Announces Grant Opportunity for Biomass 

State plans to increase jobs in the forest products industry

Governor Kitzhaber today announced the Forest Products Energy Project, a grant opportunity to spur Oregon's emerging biomass energy industry. Existing local forest product companies in Oregon can compete for these grants to evaluate the feasibility of using biomass for renewable energy production in Oregon’s forest products industry.

"This project will promote efficient use of biomass while strengthening business, promoting forest health, and creating jobs," said Governor Kitzhaber. "Our forest products industry is well positioned to support the increased use of biomass, creating additional renewable energy market opportunities," the Governor added.

Since taking office, the Governor has made getting Oregonians back to work a top priority. The Governor's recently released budget calls for significant investments in proven programs that offer sustainable, living-wage jobs, including employment growth for a new clean economy.

The Forest Products Energy Project seeks to strengthen the development of additional renewable energy capability. The Project encourages investment in forest product mills, retaining and creating jobs in the wood products industry.

This is a collaborative effort between Oregon Department of Energy, Business Oregon, Oregon Department of Forestry and Energy Trust of Oregon. 

About Oregon's biomass industry:  Oregon has vast biomass resources. These resources are an immediate opportunity for one of Oregon's key industries, the forest cluster. Increased biomass utilization has multiple benefits and can contribute significantly to three key state goals: healthy forests, rural jobs, and renewable energy. Oregon's biomass collaborative has identified Oregon's forest products companies as one of our best opportunities to meet these goals.

For more information about this opportunity, visit the Oregon Forest Products Energy Project website at: http://www.oregon.gov/ENERGY/BUSINESS/oregon_forest_products_energy_project.shtml

Media Contact:
Tim Raphael, Communications Director – Governor Kitzhaber, 503-689-6117
Diana Enright, Communications Director – Oregon Department of Energy, 503-378-8278
Dan Postrel, Agency Affairs Program Director – Oregon Department of Forestry, 503-945-7420
Marc Zolton, Public Affairs Manager – Business Oregon, 503-510-1940

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