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Kulongoski signs environmental legislation at business school



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The governor signed seven environmental bills and addressed his administration’s successes in climate change initiatives this morning in the atrium of Lillis Hall. The legislation included a bill aimed to develop a low-carbon fuel standard by 2015 (HB 2186), which, after its signing, sparked applause and high-fives among the crowd.

Along with highlighting HB 2186, Gov. Ted Kulongoski also singled out a bill developing a program integrating small-scale solar energy in to the state’s electricity grid (HB 3039), designed after a model he observed in Germany. “This bill could spur the development of large-scale solar power by integrating 20 megawatts into the system,” Kulongoski said.

Introduced as “Mr. Climate Change” by Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy, Kulongoski began his address by summarizing his administration’s accomplishments in environmental legislation that combat global warming. He boasted Oregon hosts the largest green transport program, has reduced grass seed field burning, and is in the process of removing dams from the Klammath River.

Kulongoski said that, when he became governor, “the economy was turning, and the state had a choice whether to look to the future or hunker down and wait for the storm to pass. I’ve learned that you must look towards the future to be ultimately successful.”

In conclusion, the governor stressed the importance of the legislation for Oregon’s economic and environmental vitality. “These policies secure Oregon’s position as a leader in climate change policy,” he said.

Rep. Ben Cannon, who played a large role in passing the measures, followed Kulongoski. After jokingly mentioning the stresses of passing a bill, Cannon thanked the attending legislators who worked with him and the governor on these bills, calling their work an “extraordinary collaboration.”

Four contributing legislators stood behind the governor as he signed each bill, and the men congratulated one another afterward. Wednesday’s event sparked the formation of research groups dedicated to conserving energy and reducing climate change in Oregon, which are projected to produce results within the next five years. “A transition to clean energy in our economy is a transition towards prosperity,”
Cannon said.

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The bills – Kulongoski signed seven pieces of legislation:

Senate Bill 38: Allows the Environmental Quality Commission to monitor
greenhouse emissions
  Creates a task force to monitor energy producers
Senate Bill 101: A widely supported bill aimed at restricting the use
of coal by, among other things, preventing the creation of new coal
power sources
House Bill 2186: Enables the Environmental Quality Commission to
regulate truck emissions
House Bill 2626: Creates a loan program for sustainable technology
House Bill 3039: Allows people with solar panels to sell the energy back to utility companies
House Bill 3463: Regulates producers of biodiesel fuel

 

 


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