Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Innovation, Technology & Economic Development Committee

HB 2611

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Description: Promoting the development of the Washington state bioeconomy.

Sponsors: Representatives Duerr, Mead, Ramel, Fitzgibbon, Gregerson and Pollet.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Directs the University of Washington to conduct a study identifying opportunities to further develop Washington's bioeconomy.

Hearing Date: 1/29/20

Staff: Kyle Raymond (786-7190).


Biorefinery Study.

In the 2019-21 biennial operating budget, $300,000 for matching nonstate funding contributions was provided to the University of Washington to study of the feasibility of constructing a biorefinery in southwest Washington. The study must do the following:

In addition, the study must result in a comprehensive technical and economic evaluation for southwest Washington biorefineries to be used by biorefinery technology companies to develop their business plans and to attract potential investors.

Washington Clean Energy Transformation Act.

The Washington Clean Energy Transformation Act (CETA) requires that all retail sales of electricity to Washington customers be greenhouse gas neutral by January 1, 2030, and that nonemitting and renewable resources supply 100 percent of all retail sales of electricity to Washington customers by January 1, 2045.

Under CETA, a biomass energy is listed a renewable resources, and biomass energy includes:

Manufacturing of Wood Biomass Fuel Tax Preference.

Under state law, there is a reduced business and occupation tax rate for manufacturing of wood biomass fuel. The rate of the tax is equal to the value of wood biomass fuel manufactured, multiplied by the rate of 0.138 percent. The manufacturing B&O tax rate is 0.484 percent of gross receipts. There is also a sales and tax exemption on machinery and equipment used to generate electricity using fuel cells, sun, wind, biomass energy, tidal and wave energy, geothermal resources, and technology that converts otherwise lost energy from exhaust.

Summary of Bill:

The University of Washington must conduct a study identifying opportunities to further develop Washington's bioeconomy to expand the use of renewable biological resources in the production of fuels, chemicals, and other materials.

The study must do the following:

By July 1, 2023, the results of the study must be submitted in a report to the appropriate committees of the Legislature.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.