Open letter to Oregon's new chief: Continue to lead on green
By Jules Bailey
Oregon State Representative
As a bi-partisan group of legislators who have made clean energy jobs a priority, we wrote this letter before we knew who would be our next governor. We did so because no matter who Oregonians would choose to lead the state, the charge is the same: Our next governor must lead Oregon to the front of the clean energy economy.
When Oregonians are struggling to find work, the clean energy sector creates jobs that can never be outsourced and industries that support Oregon exports, while increasing our energy security and independence.
Whether it’s a wind farm in Sherman County, a biofuels plant in Salem, or a home retrofit in Southeast Portland, Oregon has built a cluster of clean economy jobs that has helped land major employers like Solar World, Vestas, Solexant, and emerging leaders like Revolt. Not only has Oregon attracted employers, it has supported established businesses like Oregon Ironworks that continue to provide high-wage jobs manufacturing wave energy buoys, streetcars, and new Oregon firms like Arcimoto that are pioneering and building the next generation of vehicles.
That’s a track record of success for Republicans and Democrats alike to celebrate and build on.
Oregon’s clean energy economy didn’t happen by accident. The Business Energy Tax Credit, Oregon’s Renewable Energy Standard, the Feed-In Tariff pilot, our land-use planning system, and Clean Energy Works Oregon, among many other policies, have created the market for clean energy and sent a strong signal to manufacturers and entrepreneurs across the world that Oregon is the hub for the new economy. These policies have brought a small state like Oregon international attention, but they are not enough.
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