Home Archives June 2008 Finding the energy

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

Community colleges and sustainability

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, July 31, 2014
sustainabilityBY MARY SPILDE | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Faced with the aftermath of the “great recession,” increasing concern about the environment and dwindling family wage jobs, we have some very important choices to make about our future.


Read more...

Poll Wrap-Up

News
Friday, August 15, 2014

2014 NewPoll-report-newsletterthumbIn this week's poll, we asked readers: "Who should pay for the troubled Cover Oregon website?" Here are the results.


Read more...

Risks & rewards of owning triple net investments

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, July 24, 2014
NNNinvestmentBY CLIFF HOCKLEY | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

With the increasing retirements of Baby Boomers, a massive real estate shift has created a significant increase in demand for NNN properties. The result? Increased demand has triggered higher prices and lower yields.


Read more...

Updated: Disrupting innovation

News
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
070814 thumb disputive-innovationBY LINDA BAKER  | OB EDITOR

The New Yorker recently published a sharply worded critique of “disruptive innovation,” one of the most widely cited theories in the business world today. The article raises questions about the descriptive value of disruption and innovation  — whether the terms are mere buzzwords or actually explain today's extraordinarily complex and fast changing business environment. 

Update: We caught up with Portland's Thomas Thurston, who shared his data driven take on the disruption controversy.


Read more...

The Scott Kveton affair

News
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
ScottKvetonBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Scott Kveton, the CEO of Urban Airship is taking a leave of absence from the company. As the story continues to unfold, here’s our perspective on a few of the key players.


Read more...

OB Video: Dress for Success

News
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
DFSOBY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR

Dress for Success Oregon promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and career development tools.


Read more...

Portland rises

News
Monday, August 18, 2014

IMG 2551Portland is in the middle of another construction boom, with residential and office projects springing up downtown, in the Pearl and Old Town. OB Web Editor Jessica Ridgway documents the new wave.


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