Bill them later: A round-up of Oregon's energy measures

Oregon lawmakers have a full plate of power-specific bills to consider before adjourning this summer.
photo BLOOMBERG

Oregon lawmakers have a full plate of power-specific bills to consider before adjourning this summer.

Last week’s Future Energy Conference included plenty of talk about pending legislation that could sway Oregon’s energy outlook.

A panel that included Gov. John Kitzhaber’s Energy Adviser Margie Hoffmann, Portland General Electric’s Brendan McCarthy and the Citizen Utility Board’s Jeff Bissonnette highlighted many measures. The talk was moderated by Ater Wynne’s Douglas MacCourt.

Here are a few of initiatives energy advocates will watch over the next three months.

House Bill 2106: This land-use bill asks the Oregon Department of Energy to, in partnership with other state agencies, develop a map that identifies areas east of the Cascades that are suitable for energy development. The bill survived several public hearings and work sessions in the House Energy and Environment Committee, and will be transferred to the House Committee on Land Use.

Senate Bill 242: Updates Oregon’s greenhouse gas emissions standard and allows for review of the standard by the Oregon Public Utility Commission. The commission will essentially determine whether the measure sufficiently addresses the portion of greenhouse gas emissions that stem from electricity generation for Oregon customers. The bill passed through the Senate Business and Transportation Committee and is now in the House Energy and Environment Committee.

HB 2893: Expands the state’s current solar net-metering program from its 25 megawatt cap to 27.5 megawatts. The measure could allow for more projects to start before the pilot closes March 31, 2016. It also directs the PUC to study the effectiveness of solar incentives by January 2015. The measure survived tweaks in the House Energy and Environment Committee, along with a public hearing and work sessions. It’s now in the Senate Environment and Natural Resource Committee.

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