Kitzhaber releases draft of 10-year energy plan
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Gov. John Kitzhaber released the draft of his 10-year energy plan Tuesday, highlighting three main strategies for Oregon.
Gov. John Kitzhaber on Tuesday released the first draft of his 10-Year Energy Action Plan that puts forward three strategies the state should focus on for reliable and affordable energy.
The plan will undergo a 60-day public comment period before being reissued in its final form.
The plan focuses on three distinct goals including:
1. An aggressive focus on energy efficiency and conservation to meet 100 percent of the state's new electricity needs, starting with an efficiency overhaul of all state-owned buildings — some 4 million square feet of space.
2. Streamlined permitting and planning for clean energy development projects and the establishment of a regional infrastructure bank to help leverage public and private funds to get large projects built. (Business Journal Reporter Erik Siemers wrote about the infrastructure bank concept in January.)
3. A focus on clean transportation including a relatively modest goal of converting 20 percent of large-fleet vehicles to alternative fuel sources over the next 10 years. The plan also calls for support for the biofuels market by removing the expiration date on the state's low carbon fuel standard.
In a press release, Kitzhaber said that plan "provides a framework to move Oregon beyond a boom/bust economic cycle that depletes our natural capital and leaves us vulnerable to fluctuations in global markets, and move us toward a future where our state is a leader in energy efficiency, home-grown renewable energy resources, and clean energy employment."
The plan also singles out biomass-based energy generation as an area of potential benefit for rural Oregon and calls for incentives to support the creation of a biomass energy market.
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