In early June, Governor Kitzhaber unveiled a draft 10-year energy plan for the state of Oregon. The plan focuses on strategies geared at ensuring that Oregon will meet significant greenhouse gas reduction goals and strengthen our economy by moving away from fossil fuels, like coal. The Governor is taking comments on the plan until July 31, and three public meetings are being held to take testimony.
If you can, please also attend one of the upcoming public meetings:
Wednesday, July 18th, 5:30pm-7:30pm
Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT), 3201 Campus Drive, College Union Auditorium,
Thursday, July 19th, 5:30pm-7:30pm; Location: Central Oregon Community College (COCC), 2600 NW College Way, Pioneer 201 Auditorium,
Friday, July 20th, 5:30-7:30pm
Location: Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC), 6000 SE Stark St., Visual Arts Theater (in back)
Key points to make in your public testimony and comments:
- The plan should require all Oregon utilities to make major gains in phasing out coal power between now and 2020.
- New energy needs over the next decade should be obtained with substantial increases in energy efficiency and conservation in homes, public buildings and commercial buildings; through the creation of ‘energy performance scores’ for buildings; and expansion of the Clean Energy Works weatherization program.
- The plan should increase ‘distributed energy’ like rooftop solar across the state, and should include a large-scale, state-wide ‘feed-in tariff’ program to allow homeowners, small businesses, farmers, houses of worship, and local governments to be paid a fair rate by utilities for producing clean energy.
- The plan should make Oregon’s greenhouse gas reduction goals legally binding to push all utilities to reduce coal use, and should also expand the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard to obtain 33% of the state’s energy from new renewable sources by 2025.
- The plan should ensure that state and federal permits for the export of coal and liquefied natural gas (LNG) are not issued. If approved by state agencies, coal and LNG export could render irrelevant all of Oregon’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In unveiling the draft 10-year energy plan, the Governor wrote:
Oregon has a track record of successfully pursuing clean energy policy, programs and practices to reduce energy use and promote renewable alternatives to fossil fuels. These public and private initiatives have made Oregon a national leader, but we continue to face a fundamental challenge –
that is, to develop a comprehensive energy strategy that meets the state’s carbon reduction, energy conservation and renewable energy goals and timetables, and that balances complex needs – including affordability and reliability – while enhancing Oregon’s economic objectives.
This 10-Year Energy Action Plan takes a practical approach to that challenge, focusing on specific initiatives that move the dial in the short term and can be scaled up over time. It is also an economic action plan, emphasizing priorities that can get Oregonians back to work on energy related projects in urban and rural communities across the state.
The Governor’s plan is an important opportunity to accelerate our region’s transition from a fossil fuel dependent energy and transportation system to a clean energy future. We encourage all Oregonians concerned about the growing harms from climate change and the need for urgency and decisive action to weigh in to help create a final plan that will result in decisive near term and long term actions.
And you can read both the plan and background materials here, as well as sign up for email updates.
We thank Governor Kitzhaber for bringing Oregonians together to focus on a 10-year energy plan for the state designed to significantly reduce reliance on fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas.