Finding the energy

| Print |  Email
Sunday, June 01, 2008

s_Robin ROBIN DOUSSARD

“Oregon could be the clean energy capital of the free world, but ...”

“The solar industry is a locomotive that has already left the station, and it is accelerating.”

Both of these quotes have appeared on our cover. The first, by clean energy investor Nancy Floyd, was in June 2006. That month’s cover story detailed how Oregon was falling behind in the emerging alternative energy sector and lacked the political will to change. Gas prices were hitting $3 a gallon, oil was selling at about $77 a barrel and global warming was making headlines. I believe I used the phrase “gutless weasels” in my column that issue to describe my tender feelings about the state’s inability to get behind clean energy policies.

Exactly two years later, the second quote, by Solaicx CEO Bob Ford, is on this month’s cover. The story that associate editor Ben Jacklet writes about the growth of the solar industry couldn’t be more different than the June 2006 cover story. Spurred by tax incentives passed in the 2007 Legislature, the industry has exploded over the past year and Oregon is one of the leaders.

Only time will tell if solar will make a significant dent in the country’s energy needs, but time also is running short. Gas is approaching $4 a gallon, oil is above $120 a barrel and global warming is making headlines. Like they say, déjà vu all over again.

Energy costs are of great concern to our readers, who weigh in on related topics on page 8 in this month’s online survey. They’re alarmed over global warming,  and economist Joe Cortright on page 10 analyzes how the right incentives can help climate change.

Readers are worried about the price of oil, but there also is nervousness over the increasing costs of energy in general. Rising fuel costs are playing out in many ways across Oregon. In Around The State this month, we have several reports tied to spiking prices: Coburg’s Monaco Coach has cut 600 jobs; food costs at farmers markets are headed up; and traffic was down at Mt. Bachelor as Portland metro skiers stayed closer to home to save on gas. Every facet of business right now is grappling with some aspect of energy.

Oregon is making some progress on alternative energy, so I’ll rescind (for the moment) the “gutless weasel” label. But I’m keeping it handy. I figure I’ll need it when the debate over health-care reform heats up later in this political season.

 

More Articles

Playoffs pay off for the Ducks

The Latest
Friday, January 02, 2015
oregon-ducks-logo-helmet-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The University of Oregon football team looked unstoppable on the field Jan. 1 — and the university is reaping the benefits of the new postseason format.


Read more...

Corner Office: Marv LaPorte

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

The president of LaPorte & Associates lets us in on his day-to-day life.


Read more...

Light Moves

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Fittingly, Light at Play — a business whose sole purpose is to create mesmerizing ambience — was conceived at Burning Man.


Read more...

Streetfight

News
Sunday, December 07, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

On Friday, Uber switched on an app — and with one push of the button torpedoed Portland’s famed public process.


Read more...

Corner Office: Pam Edstrom

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

Seven tidbits of information from an agency partner and co-founder of Waggener Edstrom in Lake Oswego.


Read more...

Convention Wisdom

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

After more than a decade of wrangling, construction on a convention center hotel in Portland is slated to start this summer. But debate over project financing continues.


Read more...

Carbon Power

February 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Researchers in a multitude of disciplines are searching for ways to soak up excess carbon dioxide, the compound that contributes to global warming.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS