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RNP Press Release
June 24, 2011

Renewable Northwest Project Responds to Oregon Clean Energy Bill Outcome

Salem, Ore. (June 24, 2011) -- Renewable Northwest Project (RNP) – a non-profit regional advocacy group – issued the following press statement today in response to the Oregon legislature’s passage of House Bill 3672, which revised the state's Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) incentive program. Deputy Director John J. Audley provided the following remarks:

Renewable Northwest Project applauds the Oregon legislature for preserving a piece of the Business Energy Tax Credit program amid challenging budgetary constraints. The BETC has been good policy for Oregon, spurring economic development that drove Oregon’s clean energy economy leadership while bringing jobs and renewal statewide, especially in Oregon’s hard-hit rural counties. Today’s bi-partisan effort demonstrated a recognition of the program’s tremendous benefits to our state; members of the Joint Tax Incentives Committee worked tirelessly to find a way to preserve incentives for conservation and renewable energy generation by focusing limited resources on smaller, community-oriented projects. We thank them for their hard work.

While the BETC program has significantly changed, the decision to retain aspects preserves a framework for future program recovery as the economy gradually improves. While a $10 million budget for tax incentives is understandable during the economic downtown, it will yield a small fraction of the economic development achieved through past programming. Thus, as the Oregon economy rebounds, we will urge legislators to revisit the amount set aside to promote renewable energy development. We will also advocate for the removal of the 35MW project cap size, as larger-scale projects are critical for job creation, rural economic development and significant greenhouse gas reduction.

Oregon's communities have profoundly benefited from the from the robust clean energy industry presence we have attracted through supportive policies; renewable industries have invested over $5.4 billion in our state economy to date. These investments have netted communities more than $55 million in tax revenues, which are supporting schools, fire departments and vital social services. To grow rural economic development and job opportunities statewide – and to move closer toward a clean energy future - we must continue to stimulate renewable energy investments in Oregon by shaping policies that achieve them.
 

Media Resources: Materials detailing Oregon’s $5.4 billion renewable industry landmark – including a video news piece for usage – here: http://rnp.org/index.php?q=node/1178

Renewable Northwest Project is a regional nonprofit advocacy organization promoting responsible development of renewable energy resources in the Northwest. For more information, visit www.rnp.org. 

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For more information contact:

Erin Greeson
(503) 223-4544

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