Montana's Congressman, Denny Rehberg, has sponsored legislation to help schools and communities generate energy from biomass, cutting energy costs and aiding in the reduction of catastrophic wildfire fuels.
"This will go a long way toward helping Montana's schools and communities create jobs, promote healthier forests, and reduce energy costs," said Rehberg, a member of the House Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee. "As a part of an all-of-the-above energy solution, biomass can move us away from foreign sources of energy and toward the next generation of alternative energy production."
The bill (H.R. 2170) would create a revolving loan fund to be used by public institutions, such as schools and hospitals, to cover the initial costs of converting to woody biomass for energy production. The institutions would be able to pay back the zero-interest loans with the savings in energy costs. The measure would also ensure the institutions receiving such loans use woody biomass for not less than 75% of their energy consumption.
"This is a smart step toward preparing our communities for alternative energy use, and one that will save the taxpayers money," said Rehberg. This legislation is currently in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.