Bruce Hanna, a Roseburg Republican in the Oregon House of Representatives, has endorsed a proposed statewide initiative to recognize all hydroelectric power as a renewable energy source under state law.
In May, State Rep. Greg Smith (R–Heppner) had kicked off the petition drive for the Affordable Renewable Energy Act by becoming its first signer.
In a commentary published on OregonLive.com, Hanna said the Legislature was wrong to pass the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) in 2007, “and our utilities’ constant requests for rate increases to pay for the costs of meeting the renewable portfolio standard have only reaffirmed this view.”
“I’m now happy to report that Oregonians for Renewable Power wants to change this. This coalition of consumer and producer groups is now gathering signatures on a proposed 2014 initiative to recognize all hydroelectric power as a renewable energy source under Oregon’s RPS.”
Pacific Power and Portland General Electric have already proposed major rate hikes to accommodate the 2007 law, Hanna said.
“Have Oregon’s hydro-unfriendly RPS and its RPS-related tax credits done anything to grow “green” jobs across Oregon? According to Oregon Department of Energy and the Legislative Fiscal Office, Oregon taxpayers provided $198 million in tax credits for RPS-certified renewable energy projects in Oregon and created about 187 permanent jobs. That’s about $1.1 million per permanent full-time job and our utilities still have to pay two times more for wind power and four to five times more for solar power.”
Hanna urged Oregonians to sign the petition that seeks a spot on the state ballot in November 2014. Go online for more information and to sign the petition.