John Patterson (Mr. Sun) is concerned about Oregon's renewable energy future
I’ve been drafting letters explaining why I support renewable energy tax credits in a time of great unpopularity. These letters are intended for the Oregon State Legislature and Governor Kitzhaber’s Office. The Tax Fairness Oregon bunch may think I’m crazy, but I believe our state reps shouldn’t simply be looking to cut programs, budgets, and shut off tax credits; they should also be thinking of and supporting industries and programs that create jobs.
The “people” want jobs – jobs – jobs, don’t they get that?
Rep. Jules Bailey gives the solar advocates the bad news
The renewable energy industry in Oregon has been thriving in part because of the state renewable energy tax credits (BETC & RETC) and Energy Trust of Oregon programs and rebates. It is documented that the renewable energy industry in Oregon has provided jobs, especially in the solar sector, and this action will put many of these jobs in peril. This isn’t the path we should be taking! This battle is going on in many statehouses in America and is boiling-up in the U.S. Congress and I don’t see the Obama administration providing the leadership required to move our energy policies forward – certainly much less than “greenies” expected.
I had opportunity to express myself to the state representatives
That really disappoints me, because ever since I was a teenager I liked the idea of creating power from the Sun. Okay, maybe I’m some kind of geek, but I’ve wondered why modern technology couldn’t come up with a way to harness the Sun’s energy so that everyone could use it as they desired. And get it all for FREE! Ahhh … what a dreamer, huh?!
If you’d like a closer look at this story, check out an article written by Eric Siemers of the Oregon Business Journal entitled, “BETC facing massive cutbacks” … http://www.sustainablebusinessoregon.com/articles/2011/05/betc-facing-massive-cutbacks.html?comments=1#readercomments.
This is the letter I sent …
“My name is Ron McDowell and I am a resident of Portland Oregon. I’ve lived and worked in Oregon about half my life and I raised my family here. I feel at peace in a place that is so green and beautiful and I’d like to keep it that way for generations to come. I feel we all have that responsibility. It is one of the main reasons I am a supporter of renewal energy.
Sure, I understand that putting solar on my home is a hedge against raising energy prices, but that’s not why I installed it on my residence. I did it because I’d made a promise to myself that when I was able to own my own home, I’d make it as energy efficient as possible and create my own power from the Sun. To me it is a no brainer to reduce fossil fuel consumption by utilizing a different technology to energize my home. Solar makes that possible.
Fact is I couldn’t have afforded it without the tax credit incentives. With costs still high for most pocketbooks, it would’ve taken years before I could afford to purchase, and that’s not a responsible course of action for those who believe in curtailing our dependency on fossil fuels (for the myriad of reasons). We are a middle income family paying our fair share of taxes, and this is one way I’d prefer to see our tax dollars spent. We all have our priorities.
One reason why so many homeowners in Portland have “solarized” over the past two years is the RETC helped make it possible. The demand is there if we can hold on to the incentives we have now … at least until a more sustainable and perhaps more equitable, energy policy gets implemented by the state or federal government. I’m all for schools, parks, police, and elderly care, but if we don’t change our energy policies we’ll soon poison our planet, and then we won’t need those things anymore.”
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