Monday, October 27, 2008

Kulongoski unveils climate change proposal

The Governor announced his comprehensive climate change package this morning at OHSU's LEED-platinum rated building on the South Waterfront. Energy efficiency and conservation measures got the most emphasis, with the governor backing a requirement to build only net-zero energy homes and businesses by 2030. He urged Oregonians to look beyond short-term fixes to falling home values and an economic recession to the potential for long-term savings on energy costs through weatherization of current buildings and new green building requirements.

Here are some of the other policies he's proposing for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and promoting efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable transportation:

- Adopt a carbon cap and trade market that would take effect in 2012.
- Establish a new reporting system for carbon emissions.
- Energy performance certificates for existing homes.
- Expansion of the business energy tax credit to 50% from 35% for efficiency projects.
- A new fund to assist low-income homeowners with weatherization.
- A pilot program to install solar panels on homes that feed back into the grid.
-Create a BETC fund, similar to the Oregon Cultural Trust, that allows taxpayers to deduct contributions in order to provide up-front capital for energy projects.
- Develop a low-carbon fuel standard.
- Congestion pricing.
- Shift the hybrid vehicle tax credit to electric plug-in hybrids.
- Adopt least-cost planning for transportation, improve the current system first before investing in new roads and bridges.

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