Kulongoski Urges Legislature to act on his 2007 agenda for energy independence as first step
SALEM, OREGON – This week Governor Ted Kulongoski promised to build on his administration’s efforts to combat the causes of global warming in Oregon and neighboring states, and to link those efforts to his energy independence agenda for the development of home grown power sources that are clean, secure and sustainable.
The Governor met with members of three working groups he appointed, along with Secretary of State Bradbury and Treasurer Edwards, and key legislators to identify next steps to move forward the Governor’s Global Warming Initiative.
“The evidence for the existence and potential dangers of climate change is clear. We must continue to be aggressive in doing our part to reduce greenhouse emissions and end our dependence on fossil fuels,” said Governor Kulongoski. “We have a unique opportunity this year to put Oregon on a path to lead the nation and I urge the legislative leadership to join me in making this a reality.”
|Gov. Ted Kulongoski signs into law energy-efficiency standards for key products in Oregon, reducing global warming pollution. |
In the course of the hour-long meeting, he urged the stakeholders and public officials in attendance to join him in winning passage of several legislative proposals for the 2007 session that will foster energy independence and reduce global warming.
The Governor is calling for an ambitious Renewable Portfolio Standard that would require 25% of energy in the state to come from renewable sources by 2025. To facilitate the transition to alternative energy sources, he is proposing an expansion of the Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) and Residential Energy Tax Credit (RETC).
The Governor is also pushing a renewable fuels package that would encourage greater development, distribution of biofuels such as biodiesel and ethanol. And his proposed budget invests millions into research and development of alternative and renewable energy technologies.
Governor Kulongoski also offered a long-term vision for confronting climate change in Oregon’s future. He committed to work with other Western states to discuss the creation of a regional cap and trade system to reduce greenhouse emissions. And he proposed and asked the Legislature to consider further steps that Oregon can take including an inventory of greenhouse emissions and the creation of emissions performance standards.
“We are a small state with a large reputation for innovation – and now is the opportunity for us to live up to that reputation and create new energy markets and a sustainable, green economy,” said Governor Kulongoski. “We cannot wait any longer to begin addressing these real and dramatic changes to our environment and our economy. This is our opportunity to lead – not just to follow; to get ahead, not to fall behind; to create a new energy economy, not just trail in its wake.
Under Governor Kulongoski’s leadership, Oregon has already joined with California and Washington to create a clean car corridor along I-5, adopt statewide greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals, increase the use of flex and biofuel vehicles in the state fleet, and set state government on path to 100 percent use of renewable energy for its electricity use.
For more information about the Governor’s task force and work groups, and to read their reports, click on any of the following links:
The Oregon Strategy for Greenhouse Gas Reductions report
The Carbon Allocation Task Force report
The Climate Change Integration Group report