Thursday, October 30, 2008

Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski Unveils Clean Energy Agenda for 2009

Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski has an agenda for clean energy in 2009.
"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.

Key elements according to the Oregonian 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

Oregon gets it. Here in Washington we're still waiting for a comparably aggressive commitment to renewable energy and sustainability. We're having an election (surprise!) but I don't hear either of our gubernatorial candidates talking about anything other than what a scumbag the other is. (To be fair, one actually has some energy policy accomplishments; the other intends to gut our state's RPS by including existing hydro dams as a qualifying renewable energy source.) Please, can the election be over soon?
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