Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber released a 10-year Energy Plan, and unlike that of the House in Congress, it focuses on energy efficiency and clean energy.
It starts by saying, “Energy is THE issue of our time – both globally and here in Oregon – and no single issue will have a greater impact on our state’s economy, environment and quality of life in the coming decade. The central question is whether we will shape our energy future through intentional investment and development, or whether it will shape us.”
Some parts of the plan can be enacted now, others need legislative approval.
Its three main core strategies are:
- Maximize energy efficiency and conservation to meet 100% of new electricity load growth.
Oregon ranks fourth in the US for energy efficiency. To reach the goal, every occupied state-owned building will establish baseline energy use, undergo an energy audit and identify cost-effective retrofits in the next 10 years, improving the performance of up to four million square feet and using the state as a market driver.
- Remove financial and regulatory barriers for clean energy infrastructure development
Since 2007, over $5 billion has been invested in renewable energy development in Oregon, but barriers remain: outdated, inadequate transmission infrastructure; inefficient and disjointed local, state and federal regulatory processes; and limited public resources.
The plan calls for landscape level planning and streamlined permitting to give clean energy developers more certainty and predictability and to ensure the State’s natural resources are protected. It also calls for developing a new regional infrastructure bank to leverage public and private investment.
- Accelerate the market transition to a more efficient, cleaner transportation system.
Transportation is the single largest contributor to Oregon’s carbon emissions, are a significant source of air toxics, and cost average Oregonians nearly 7% of disposable income.
The plan calls for converting 20% of large fleets to alternative fuel vehicles over the next 10 years.
In 2009, Portland, Oregon adopted a Climate Action Plan. The city’s greenhouse gas emissions are now 6% below 1990 levels even though population has grown 26% over that time, and US emissions have grown 12%.
Here’s the plan: