Bailey: Movement on clean fuels could happen by Sunday
By Andy Giegerich
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Rep. Jules Bailey hasn't given up hope on getting an Oregon clean fuels bill before lawmakers in the next two days.
Oregon’s legislature may only be in session through the weekend, but a lawmaker who’s served a key role on energy issues is confident that the chambers will consider a measure that would help impose more “low carbon fuel standards.”
Rep. Jules Bailey, a Portland Democrat who’s running the point on several House and Senate energy bills, said at a Clean Energy Works roundtable Friday that lawmakers are pushing to close up shop on the state’s 2013 full session by Sunday night.
“We’re looking for a path to get (the clean fuels bill) out of the legislature,” Bailey said. “My sense is that it’s still a top priority for (House Speaker Tina Kotek) and the governor. We’ll look for a way to get it out in the next two days.”
Insiders had feared that a stalemate over the state’s budget — specifically, strategies that would reform components of Oregon’s public retiree program — would force lawmakers to bump the measure until, at best, next year’s short session.
The Oregon odd-year legislative sessions have in recent years lasted until around June 30. In the next two days, legislators could consider the clean fuels bill and a measure that would call for more study into whether an Oregon carbon tax is feasible.
Oregon’s clean fuels program is modeled on California’s successful low carbon fuel standard, which requires oil companies to reduce the carbon content of the overall mix of fuel they sell by 10 percent within a decade. They can improve their own operations, blend biofuels, or purchase investment credits for such low-carbon fuels as electricity, natural gas, hydrogen and propane, among other strategies.
Kitzhaber signed a bevy of energy bills last week.
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