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Gov. Ted Kulongoski, D-Ore., has issued vetoes on H.B.2472 and H.B.2940, which relate to reducing renewable energy incentives and standards.

H.B.2472 reduces the Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) cap from $10 million to $3.5 million - a reduction that the governor believes goes too far and would put Oregon at a competitive disadvantage in growing the state's renewable energy sector, resulting in fewer jobs and fewer renewable energy sources. The bill would also expand the BETC to cover electric vehicle manufacturing and supporting parts.

"The BETC has aided the renewable energy industry, which, in turn, has provided much-needed jobs, while transitioning the state towards cleaner, renewable energy sources," said the governor in a letter to Oregon's secretary of state. "I cannot support a bill that would scale back our support for one of the few growing sectors of our economy at a time when encouraging new economic opportunity is so critically important."

In addition to the veto, the governor signed H.B.2180, which directs the Oregon Department of Energy to conduct an economic analysis on renewable energy projects that qualify for the BETC.

In his letter, the governor also directed the Oregon Department of Energy to tighten the administrative rules that govern the BETC.

H.B.2940 would diminish the value of Oregon's renewable portfolio standard (RPS) by including additional sources of generation not accounted for in the original standard at the expense of new renewable generation projects.

In the letter, Kulongoski recognized the efforts by the bill's proponents to create additional economic opportunities for biomass facilities in Oregon built prior to 1995 and efforts to mitigate some of the bill's adverse impacts the RPS, but he reiterated that he could not support the bill because of its diminishing effect the RPS.

SOURCE: Office of Gov. Ted Kulongoski

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