Monday, March 05, 2012
Gov. John Kitzhaber's much-anticipated 10-year energy action plan is scheduled to debut in the next few weeks.
It features a laundry list of initiatives to take renewables, efficiency and green transportation from the marginal to the mainstream, all in the name of lower greenhouse gases, energy security and jobs.
It's a tough time for ambitious plans. The state's renewable energy cluster is losing power, with solar and wind industries cutting jobs. The budget is in shambles, with little money for incentives such as the hefty tax breaks that helped bankroll the first boom. And ratepayers face an unbroken string of increases for environmental upgrades to existing plants, transmission expansions and the addition of renewable power.
Yet Kitzhaber's advisers say energy policy, like education and health care reform, is one of the three big levers he can pull to make Oregon a better place to live. Advisers promise many initiatives will be low- or no-cost and will mesh with neighboring states' policies, as well as re-established regional energy planning forums.
Read more at OregonLive.com.