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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski Unveils Clean Energy Agenda for 2009

Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski unveiled the ambitious clean energy agenda he hopes to see implemented by the 2009 Oregon Legislature on Monday. Following up on a landmark 2007 legislative session that saw the Beaver State enact an ambitious renewable energy standard, expand tax credits for clean energy, and enact new standards for energy efficiency, Governor Kulongoski isn't resting on his laurels.

"Climate change is the most important environmental and economic issue of our time," Kulongoski said as he laid out his proposal for new clean energy tax incentives and ambitious goals he wants the 2009 Legislature to adopt.

On Monday, Governor Kulongoski said it's time to redouble the state's commitment to a clean energy future. "In 2009, we must be bolder, more comprehensive and even more visionary," Kulongoski said. Right on!

According to the Oregonian, Kulongoski's proposals include:

• Greenhouse gas reduction: Authorizes regional cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions; sets limits on emissions from the state's largest sources; sets low-carbon standards for all new electricity generation

• Energy efficiency: Establishes energy performance certificates for new homes or commercial buildings, similar to MPG ratings for new cars; sets goal of zero-emission new buildings by 2030; allows 50 percent tax credit for large-scale energy efficiency projects, up to $20 million

• Renewable energy: Sets up pilot program to pay for energy produced from solar projects; establishes tax credit for residents who donate to a renewable energy incentive fund

• Transportation: Offers $5,000 credit for purchase of new plug-in hybrid or all-electric car; authorizes new low-carbon fuel standard similar to those in Washington and California
His plans to implement a cap and trade program, joining with other states in the Western Climate Initiative, will likely draw the most opposition. Groups representing industrial energy consumers are already lining up in opposition. But it's clear that Governor Kulongoski, who faces his last legislative session as Oregon's governor, has decided to pin his legacy on efforts to make Oregon a clean energy leader and tackle global warming.

More on Kulongoski's clean energy plans at the Oregonian

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