BETC backers seek jobs data for campaign
By Lee van der Voo, Sustainable Business Oregon
Sustainable Business Oregon
With the legislative session fast approaching, a growing coalition is mounting a campaign to extend the life of the Oregon Business Energy Tax Credit, known as the BETC, beyond its 2012 sunset date.
As they shape their efforts, coalition members — 70 of whom gathered Tuesday for a strategy meeting at the Portland offices of David Evans and Associates Inc. — will gather stories of BETC’s success in spurring jobs, seeding Oregon's clean energy sector and provoking investment in the state's rural communities.
It's a strategy designed to leap what's emerged as huge hurdle in salvaging BETC’s future: Explaining the tax credit's utility as an economic engine for Oregon, absent any comprehensive data on the program’s returns.
"I've talked to hundreds and hundreds of clean energy businesses and from that kind of discussion I have seen with my own eyes and heard with my own ears the huge impact that the BETC is making," said Lisa Adatto, Oregon director of Climate Solutions.
"I think hearing that, the same way that I have from individual companies, that's very persuasive," she said.
Led primarily by Climate Solutions and the Northwest Environmental Business Council, the coalition has similarly staked its bet. Pressing ahead, the group is actively soliciting tales of success about job creation, energy development, rural investment and other BETC benefits. Organizers are poised to arrange spokespeople in every legislative district to talk to elected officials, media and colleagues.
The campaign has set clear goals. Its supporters want policy support through 2016 for renewable energy development, energy efficiency and manufacturing programs, all considered essential to maintaining an integrated infrastructure in the clean energy sector.
Lee van der Voo, lvdvoo*at*gmail.com, is a freelance writer for Sustainable Business Oregon.
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