"I want to be absolutely sure the ferry system has enough resources to operate next year without having to reduce service to our communities."
- Rep. Williams
(Juneau) - Representative Bill Williams (R-Saxman), co-chair of the State House Finance Committee, today introduced an amendment to a Senate Bill aimed at encouraging the production of ethanol made from wood and seafood waste. The amendment adopted by the Finance Committee adds language to Senate Bill 337, a bill that allows the Alaska Energy Authority to make loans to communities and utilities to encourage alternative energy production. Williams amended the bill to eliminate the state tax on ethanol fuel made from wood or seafood waste. Williams said he wants to encourage production of ethanol in Alaska. "Now that the roadless issue has been settled and it looks as if the timber industry in Alaska can begin to grow again, there will be a greater need to find a market for wood waste. Chips and other uneconomic wood fiber could be used to produce ethanol," said Williams. "We've been trying to attract an entrepreneur to build a plant in Ketchikan to make ethanol from fish waste and timber byproducts. This is the kind of economic development we need in Alaska."
Williams said the state must encourage production of clean-burning fuels like ethanol. The changes to SB 337 would eliminate the 8 cent a gallon state motor fuel tax for fuel that is at least 10 percent alcohol by volume and is made from wood or from waste seafood, during the first five years that the ethanol plant operates.
SB 337 was passed out of the House Finance Committee today. It goes next to the House floor for a vote.