Oregon Governor Takes Renewable Energy Stand

Oregon is inching closer to a final strategy for combating global warming in the Northwest. Gov. Ted Kulongoski announced five new initiatives as part of a regional strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Northwest, which included a campaign to increase renewable energy and biofuel production and use in the state.

Initiatives are based on the recommendations of the Governor’s Advisory Group on Global Warming, which developed a report called the Oregon Strategy for Greenhouse Gas Reduction. “The threats of global warming are real, and Oregon has an opportunity to be a leader on the front end by developing new technologies, investing in renewable energy, and practicing conservation – which will reduce greenhouse emissions in our state,” Kulongoski said. “These five steps will put Oregon on the map as a national leader in the efforts to combat global warming and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” In addition to the announcement of the five initiatives, Kulongoski sent a letter to Senate President Peter Courtney and House Speaker Karen Minnis urging the adoption of several bills that would expand renewable energy options for Oregon residents, businesses and state government. Bills before the Oregon Legislature are: Biofuels (HB 3030-3034 and SB 736) The House Bills promote the expansion of the ethanol and biodiesel markets in Oregon. The Senate Bill complements the House Bills by accelerating the ability to site a biodiesel facility by exempting it from the Energy Facility Siting Council Process. Renewable Energy (SB 84, 733, 735, 834) These bills authorize the Public Utility Commission to increase the amount of energy that can be net metered and adds biomass to the list of qualifying energy generation; modify the residential energy tax credit program to allow multiple year credits for solar installation while not increasing the maximum amount of credits available; improve the small energy loan program; and establish a fund to assist communities in completing feasibility studies for renewable energy projects. State Energy Use (SB 737 and HB 3001, 3034, 3328): The bills authorize state agencies to develop renewable energy on state lands; require new public buildings to integrate cost effective solar design and technology from daylighting to solar panels; require the Department of Energy to develop a plan to reduce energy use and increase onsite use of renewable energy technologies; and require state agencies to increase their use of biofuels in state vehicles. Energy Savings (HB 3363): This bill requires higher efficiency commercial appliances in Oregon. “We have an opportunity this session to solidify Oregon’s role as a leader on the issues of renewable energy and biofuels production,” Kulongoski wrote in the letter. Passage of the bills would support the renewable energy initiatives proposed by the Governor’s Advisory Group on Global Warming. But supporting renewable energy is only part of the solution to global warming. The rest of the state initiatives included in the Oregon Strategy for Greenhouse Gas Reduction are: establish new greenhouse gas reduction goals; appoint a task force to develop a plan for how Oregon can implement stricter emission standards for vehicles; appoint a workgroup to develop a carbon dioxide reduction schedule for utilities and other large emitters of carbon dioxide; direct the Oregon Department of Energy to create an energy-saving campaign to reduce state agency energy use by at least 20 percent by 2015 and energy use statewide by at least 20 percent by 2025. Governor Kulongoski created the Advisory Group on Global Warming in February 2004 and asked it to develop a statewide strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that would complement the regional work of the West Coast Governors Global Warming Initiative.
Previous articleVerdant Enters Second Phase of Hydro-turbine Testing
Next articleNREL Announces Top Green Power Programs

No posts to display