Solidify a strong energy plan: An open letter to Gov. Kitzhaber
By Andrea Durbin, Oregon Enviornmental Council
Andrea Durbin is the executive director of the Oregon Environmental Council.
As you’ve said, energy is the issue of our time. Oregon Environmental Council applauds you for taking on the challenge of developing a 10-Year Energy Action Plan for our state. We need a plan that builds on Oregon’s achievements and sets a bold and forward-looking course for Oregon’s energy future, promoting low-carbon technologies and safeguarding the climate while vitalizing Oregon’s economy.
To that end, the goal to meet all new load growth via energy efficiency and prioritizing energy efficiency and conservation first is an example of a smart, forward-looking commitment. Additionally, prioritizing a shift from a gas tax to a fee based on the number of miles vehicles travel is an essential piece for advancing a clean transportation agenda with vehicles moving towards higher fuel efficiency and electric vehicles. Finally, the commitment to clean fuels is critical.
The Clean Fuels Program will help Oregon localize energy and keep dollars that normally leave the state invested here to create jobs and economic development, and will be a key piece of Oregon’s plan to reduce greenhouse gases and improve air quality.
This plan provides several critical next steps for Oregon’s course toward a clean energy future over the next couple of years. Over the next 10 years, Oregon must also address the prevailing challenge of our time: climate change and reducing carbon.
Responding to climate change is both an economic and moral imperative for our state where local leadership and action is critically needed in the absence of national leadership. Oregon has led nationally on energy efficiency, and made a significant commitment to renewable energy. We now have an opportunity to work with our West Coast neighbors to lead by example and innovate around carbon policy.
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