Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

Kitz-O-Meter

Develop plan for energy and climate change


"We need a strategic climate and energy road map that lays out the practical steps to meet and implement that goal, and benchmarks against which to systematically and frequently measure our progress. During the course of my campaign, I will lay the groundwork for a strategic plan that integrates the state emission reduction goal, the Renewable Energy Standard, aggressive conservation and energy efficiency strategies, the Low Carbon Fuel Standard and the Renewable Fuel Standard into a comprehensive state Energy and Climate Strategic Plan."


Subjects: Energy, Environment

Updates

Right on time, Gov. Kitzhaber releases his first draft

When we last checked in on how Gov. Kitzhaber"s energy plan was coming along, he"d just received a report from an advisory panel on the subject.

That panel was supposed to help him put together a 10-year plan with five goals: Reduce dependence on carbon fuels and foreign oil, develop renewable energy resources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve energy efficiency and boost the economy.

The idea was that the governor would be able to release a comprehensive plan this summer that outlined legislative and executive steps to meet the his various energy and climate goals.

He made that deadline. On June 5, 2012, Kitzhaber released his "Ten-Year Energy Action Plan.”

The document is still in its first draft, but it represents, nevertheless, the goal the governor had promised voters. On the day it was released, The Oregonian reported that the plan "outlines a host of regulatory and legislative measures to boost conservation and renewable energy and transform Oregon's transportation sector to use less fuel and emit less greenhouse gases.”

For now, the plan is just that -- a plan. Legislators have not signed off on the recommendations included in it and some of it could change as it goes through a 60-day public review and comment process. There"s also the matter of funding.

All that said, back in 2010, Kitzhaber promised voters that he would develop a plan for energy and climate change -- and he has.

Will legislators accept it? Will it be successful? That"s all yet to be determined. But for the purposes of the Kitz-O-Meter, this is a Promise Kept.

Sources:

Oregon.gov, 10 Year Energy Plan, Dec. 4, 2011

Interview with Scott Nelson, adviser to Gov. John Kitzhaber, Dec. 4, 2011

Oregon.gov, Ten-Year Energy Action Plan, June 5, 2012

The Oregonian, "Gov. John Kitzhaber releases draft of Oregon"s 10-year energy plan,” June 5, 2012

Interview with Margi Hoffmann, energy policy adviser to Gov. John Kitzhaber, July 11, 2012

We’re a half a year away from a solid proposal, but it’s In the Works

One of Gov. John Kitzhaber"s biggest selling points, back during the 2010 gubernatorial campaign, was his claimed ability to think long term and substantially restructure government. He said he"d do this with health care, with education -- and with the environment.

In one of the many position papers that adorned his campaign site, he called for "a strategic plan that integrates the state emission reduction goal, the Renewable Energy Standard, aggressive conservation and energy efficiency strategies, the Low Carbon Fuel Standard and the Renewable Fuel Standard into a comprehensive state Energy and Climate Strategic Plan.”

Kitzhaber has been in office for a year now, enough time for us to check in on his progress. We got Scott Nelson, one of the governor"s advisers, on the phone.

During the past year, the governor has established an advisory committee to help craft a 10-year energy plan with five specific goals: Reduce dependence on carbon fuels and foreign oil, develop renewable energy resources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve energy efficiency and boost the economy.

Five subcommittees are looking at particular facets of the broader plan.

Those teams have submitted draft recommendations to the governor. After a staff review, they"ll go back to the committees for another four to six weeks of refinement.

The hope is that around March, the plans will be ready for public hearings and stakeholder meetings. Right now, the idea is to have a comprehensive pitch ready this summer, Nelson said. "We intend for this to have recommendations on legislation for (the) 2013” session. Some of the changes the governor will likely be able to institute himself, others will need legislative approval.

Clearly, this plan still has a long way to go, and there"s no guarantee that lawmakers will back any of it. It"s also worth noting that Kitzhaber hasn"t appointed a permanent head for the Department of Energy. Still, the governor has put together a framework that, if all goes right, should produce  the "strategic plan” he promised voters. We"ll keep tabs on his progress and take another look when the final proposal comes out this summer. Until then, this promise is In the Works.

Sources:

Oregon.gov, 10 Year Energy Plan, Dec. 4, 2011

Interview with Scott Nelson, adviser to Gov. John Kitzhaber, Dec. 4, 2011