Oregon could use biomass industry to bolster job growth

Friday, July 20, 2012

One of Oregon's greatest resources is its forests and the state's need for jobs is well-documented. Costs to fight fires have risen exponentially and overprotection of forests many states are experiencing higher fuel loads. The main problem is that the Forest Service does not have the resources to manage the remaining forests to minimize fire danger and available tools are inadequate to deal with maintaining forest health and minimize wildfire risk.

If a new generation of biomass-to-methanol "factories" at strategic locations across the state were opened, it could solve the issue of too much wildfire fuel and employ thousands of  workers to manage, gather, transport and manufacture. Beneficial sources of fuel could be: beetle kill, cleanup of recently burned areas, thinning overgrown areas, juniper and commercial logging debris.