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Gov. John Kitzhaber releases 10-year energy action plan

Gov. John Kitzhaber today released his 10-year energy action plan that focuses on improving energy efficiency and conservation, improving the state’s clean-energy infrastructure and accelerating the transition to cleaner transportation options.

The plan falls short of setting a price on carbon, a concept Kitzhaber endorsed last month in a joint statement with the Washington and California governors and the British Columbia premier.

“Energy is the issue of our time, both globally and here in Oregon,” Kitzhaber said in a press release. “No single issue will have a greater impact on our state’s economy, environment and quality of life in the coming decade, and I am committed to pursuing the policy, programs and practices needed to ensure we shape a prosperous and sustainable future.”

To achieve his goals, Kitzhaber proposes to meet all of the state’s new electricity demands through energy conservation and increased efficiency. He also aims to enhance the state’s development of clean-energy infrastructure by removing financial and regulatory barriers. Kitzhaber also plans to push the market’s transition toward alternative-energy vehicles.

Kitzhaber’s plan includes creating a new State Building Innovation Lab that will conduct energy audits and identify cost-effective retrofits for every occupied state-owned building. The plan also proposes streamlined permitting for renewable energy facilities.

The plan was developed with the aid of a 12-member task force that included environmental, transportation, energy, and renewable energy representatives and advisers, and Oregon First Lady Cylvia Hayes, the founder and CEO of an alternative energy consulting firm. Dozens of others served as design team members on the plan.