Governor outlines energy efficiency goals at climate conference
Goals are part of overall strategy to reduce emissions and combat global warming
(Salem) – Governor Ted Kulongoski today outlined several energy efficiency proposals as part of his climate change agenda in a speech to business leaders at the Oregon Business Association and Northwest Environmental Business Council Climate Conference. The energy efficiency policies are complementary measures to his proposed cap and trade program as part of a comprehensive agenda to meet the state’s goals of reducing emissions to 10 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.
“The single most effective thing we can do to reduce emissions is to create more energy efficiency and be aggressive in our conservation,” the Governor said. “We must make energy efficiency and conservation the centerpiece of our climate change agenda in 2009. That is the only way we will succeed in reversing the damage done by global warming.”
The Governor highlighted the importance of a cap and trade system to Oregon’s efforts in reducing emissions, but also spoke to the importance of implementing other measures to encourage businesses, local and state governments and individuals to reduce energy consumption.
“Any system we implement can’t be cap or trade – it must be cap and trade. That’s the only way we’ll meet our emission reduction goals and create a new economic market in Oregon,” the Governor continued. “But cap and trade alone is not the silver bullet. A winning strategy for reducing both consumption and emissions requires much more.”
The Governor also emphasized the work of his energy efficiency workgroup that he appointed to develop recommendations for energy efficiency policy proposals for the 2009 legislative session. The workgroup is expected to complete a first draft of 3-6 policies this summer with final recommendations to the Governor by fall.
Some of the areas the Governor encouraged the workgroup to consider include: high efficiency home and building programs; energy performance certificates; and a public information campaign to educate Oregonians about the existing programs available to reduce energy use.
“This year as a region we reduced our energy use by 200 megawatts – enough power to serve 155,000 northwest homes,” Governor Kulongoski said. “With strategic outreach and education, coupled with strengthening our incentives and existing programs, I believe as a region we can double that reduction over time.”
To view a copy of the energy efficiency proposals the Governor is asking the workgroup to consider click here.
To view the Governor’s comprehensive climate change agenda, click here.
Anna Richter Taylor, 503-378-6169
Jillian Schoene, 503-378-5040
Rem Nivens, 503-378-6496