Building A Clean Energy Future and Safeguarding Oregons Natural by decree

VIEWS: 10 PAGES: 15

									     Building A
Clean Energy Future
 and Safeguarding
 Oregon’s Natural
    Environment




       March 26, 2010
Building A Clean Energy Future and
Safeguarding Oregon’s Natural Environment
Nothing is more closely associated with Oregon than its natural environment and its ethic
of environmental stewardship. And how we protect, enjoy, and use those resources is
inextricably intertwined with how we supply energy to run our state and our economy.
Oregonians have realized this for some time, and it has led to a high degree of innovation,
expertise and development of conventional and clean energy resources. Yet we still face
significant challenges associated with energy resources, our environment, and our economy.

The next Governor will take office amidst deep economic difficulties, with double-digit
unemployment and dwindling state revenues. We are facing almost certain cuts in
government services, and with more than half of the state budget supporting health and
social service programs, we can expect cuts in these areas at a time when people need
greater assistance, not less.

Yet even in these challenging times, we can make strategic changes in our state to build a
vibrant, clean energy economy, create jobs and protect the environment. And I think the key
to that is leveraging our knowledge of and commitment to a clean economy to set up a new
era in which Oregon thrives.

The following paper outlines my vision for creating a clean energy future to fuel a robust
economy and how we can balance interests and innovate to protect our natural resources.
The campaign ahead will allow detailed discussion of many of these ideas, so I hope that you
will take the time to read these papers to understand my vision.

I think it’s time to remember who we are and what we are capable of. Oregon has a long
history of approaching our challenges together - and I hope you will join me in reaching for
a thriving and sustainable future for our state.




Kitzhaber 2010 | Building A Clean Energy Future and Safeguarding Oregon’s Natural Environment   1
I. Energy For A Strong and Resilient Oregon Economy
Energy plays a critical role in the lives and businesses of Oregonians. How we use energy impacts
our environment, built and natural. At the same time, how we use and generate energy can be
either a cost or a benefit to creating jobs and our economy.

Fifty years ago Oregon’s electricity came almost entirely from renewable sources – the hydroelectric
dams on the Columbia River and its tributaries. While the dams had their own environmental downsides
especially for fish, the production was carbon-free. But they were the product of investments made
by our parents and grandparents that still accrue to our economic benefit. There are lessons here
for us to learn.

And there are lessons as well in more recent periods. Beginning three decades ago, Oregon and
our neighboring Pacific Northwest states decided that when we needed new or replacement power
supplies we would look first to energy efficiency. The economic and environmental returns on these
investments have been even greater: “new” energy supplies from efficiency savings cost one-half to
one-third that of new power plants, emit no carbon or other pollution, and don’t jeopardize fish runs.
Energy efficiency has been the single largest new resource for the region since 1980.

Thanks to that progressive leadership and innovation, Oregon is already a national leader in tackling
the challenge of climate change and ranks #1 in creating clean energy jobs. But now it’s time to scale
Oregon’s new energy economy, which will require vision, strategic infrastructure investments and policy
innovations. If Oregon gets this right, we’ll have not only a model to export to the country,
but potentially the world.

And now we have the opportunity, and the economic and environmental incentives, to transition from
much of the damaging fossil fuel plants – mostly coal – that we now rely upon for more than half our
electricity to efficiency and new renewable generating technologies. At the same time we can, and
must, transition off of imported oil for meeting our transportation needs. Conventional energy sources
will still have a place in the future energy mix to integrate new renewable energy sources.

In my recently released plan for Oregon’s economy, titled, Jobs for Today, Jobs for Tomorrow, I introduced
a four-part strategy to strengthen the fabric of Oregon’s economy and avoid the “boom/bust” cycles that
have plagued us in the past. In short, this strategy called for increased use of Oregon’s products within
Oregon, increasing the interaction between Oregon’s various industries, developing exportable products
and expertise to attract outside capital, and continuing our role as an innovator in the clean economy.

Consider that Oregonians spend $10 billion on energy each year and 85% of that money goes
out of state. This means each year we send more energy-related dollars out of state than we spend
on k-20 education. Harnessing our own home grown energy resources and companies is a smart
economic strategy.

Oregon has already set ambitious goals for energy innovation and climate mitigation, including a
target of 25% renewables by 2025, and reducing greenhouse gases to 10% below 1990 levels by
2020 and 75% below 1990 levels by 2050. However, Oregon has no comprehensive strategic plan
to achieve these goals (or specific recognition that these goals intertwine) while building the
economy and protecting energy ratepayers. We have a significant amount of intellectual capital
in Oregon which I will reach to in my campaign and as Governor.


Kitzhaber 2010 | Building A Clean Energy Future and Safeguarding Oregon’s Natural Environment                2
Vision Statement                                                                                Oregon Innovation
Following my term as Governor, Oregon will be blazing a trail to meet its                       Following in the successful path of our more
2020 and 2050 climate goals, establish energy independence, achieve                             mature renewable technologies such as wind
the benchmarks for generating clean energy and helping residents and                            and solar, Oregon has become the undisputed
                                                                                                national leader in the development of wave
businesses save energy and save money, and lead the nation in clean
                                                                                                energy through a combination of public
energy jobs, education, and business opportunities.                                             investment and groundbreaking public-
                                                                                                private partnerships. Installation of North
                                                                                                America’s first commercial wave farm will begin
Strategies                                                                                      this summer off the coast of Reedsport.
                                                                                                Oregon’s leadership is not an accident, and is
Efficiency First                                                                                the result of the focused implementation of a
First and foremost, Oregon must become even more energy efficient than it                       strategic vision to recruit and support a wave
                                                                                                power industry in the state.
already is. My primary energy goal will be to make Oregon among the most
energy efficient regions in the world. This is the cheapest and most reliable                   The lynchpin of this effort is the Oregon
way to meet our future energy demands. Reducing energy usage will be                            Wave Energy Trust (OWET), which was
                                                                                                created by the Oregon Innovation Council
beneficial in reducing energy costs for Oregon residents and businesses.
                                                                                                in 2007. OWET is a groundbreaking public-
Oregon is already recognized by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient
                                                                                                private partnership made up of all the key
Economy as the 4th most energy efficient state and we can do even better.                       stakeholders in the development of wave
The recent economic downturn gives us many examples of companies that                           energy. It funds a variety of projects that are
were able to navigate and survive a challenging marketplace thanks, in part,                    accelerating the development of the wave
                                                                                                power industry in Oregon.
to the wise energy choices they made to reduce energy use.
                                                                                                Oregon has been able to leverage its
We have already produced many of the simple fixes. At this point we need
                                                                                                support for OWET to create a true wave-
to introduce new tools that provide a business model for utilities to invest in                 energy cluster in Oregon. Oregon State
energy reduction and new incentives, simplified procedures and streamlined                      University recently was awarded a multi-
financing for building owners.                                                                  million dollar federal grant to establish the
                                                                                                first National Marine Renewable Energy
The Draft 6th Power Plan produced by the Northwest Power and Conservation                       Center in the U.S. and is building the premier
Council shows that efficiency investments can meet the great bulk of the                        technology testing facility in North America.
                                                                                                OSU’s Hatfield Marine Sciences Laboratory
growth in demand for electricity over the next 20 years, up to 85% of our
                                                                                                leads the nation in research on the potential
demand growth. I believe efficiency can and must carry an even greater                          ecological effects of wave power. Importantly,
level of responsibility for the twin tasks of meeting load growth and backing                   Oregon Iron Works was selected to
out of fossil fuel generation.                                                                  manufacture the wave energy generation
                                                                                                devices in Reedsport, keeping the capital
                                                                                                resulting from our innovation close to home.
Develop Low Carbon Generation
and Clean Oregon Business                                                                       Oregon has also employed other innovative
                                                                                                programs to build its wave energy cluster, like
I also believe Oregon can be a global leader in developing the technologies
                                                                                                Oregon Solutions. Originally designed by
and techniques in both energy efficiency and energy production, then                            Gov. Kitzhaber, Oregon Solutions has created
marketing these as products to the rest of the world. The clean energy                          a process related to the Reedsport project
economy includes opportunities to develop new, emerging clean technology                        that got all the relevant parties to the table,
                                                                                                including fishing interests, environmentalists
industries, and to integrate clean technology and energy efficiency measures
                                                                                                and federal, state, and local government
and practices into existing, conventional industries in ways that provide them
                                                                                                agencies. These parties came together
with competitive advantage in the marketplace.                                                  and agreed to a groundbreaking use of the
                                                                                                federal settlement process, truncating the
Oregon has a mature industry around energy generation, transmission and                         normal licensing timeline.
management, particularly for solar and wind production and application


Kitzhaber 2010 | Building A Clean Energy Future and Safeguarding Oregon’s Natural Environment                                                     3
manufacturing, that could support and benefit from a purposeful and concerted strategy to grow
clean energy-related businesses. Through supporting energy as an industry cluster, providing
focused workforce and industry development programs and better promoting Oregon’s place
as an accomplished and growing clean energy industry center, Oregon could strategically place
itself at the front of this growing industry.

Oregon has a diversity of renewable energy resources unsurpassed by any other state, including
tremendous solar, wave, wind, biomass and geothermal resources. Recognizing that replacing old,
carbon intensive forms of energy generation with low impact new generation resources will come
with a cost, we must support efficient and cost-effective generation means that fully leverage
Oregon’s advantages. In addition, we should be open and support other emerging and low-impact
resources such as waste digestion and gas generation, micro-hydro generation in irrigation and
water/wastewater systems, small-scale wind projects, algae-based biofuels for carbon capture, and
battery technologies. As we diversify our energy portfolio, we will also need to foster a regulatory
climate that encourages and rewards utilities for investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Diversifying our energy base will have the benefit of creating sustainable recession-resistant jobs,
supporting Oregon-based energy businesses and allowing Oregon more energy independence.

Another key step in diversifying our energy portfolio is to ramp up development of community-scale,
distributed energy efficiency and generation projects. Providing communities with authority, technical
assistance and resources to develop smaller energy projects will spur renewable generation, create
jobs and local economic investment and reduce the need for additional large-scale transmission lines.

Even with all these investments in renewable energy and efficiency, we will still need some new
conventional generation. While Oregon transitions to a future that emphasizes renewable resources
and efficiency, we will continue to need natural gas to heat our homes and businesses, fuel our
industry, and generate electricity. With the closure of the Boardman power plant and the deployment
of thousands of wind generators that need backup when the wind is not blowing, natural gas
generation becomes all that more important.

Because Oregon has little native natural gas, additional generation means that we will likely need
some additional pipeline capacity to bring gas in from Canada and the Rockies. We must ensure that
new infrastructure is built in a manner that is consistent with our environmental values. We must also
ensure that whatever uses natural gas is put to, it is done as efficiently as possible and viewed as a
part of the transition to a true low carbon, renewable energy future.


Transportation
Sensible transportation energy policy must also rely on both finding efficiencies in the existing
system, and introducing new, more energy and carbon-efficient technologies.

Building a sustainable transportation system in Oregon will require a different approach to community
development and infrastructure, making neighborhoods less dependent upon automobiles and
creating more opportunities for transit, bicycles and pedestrians. I will work with our Congressional
delegation to attract more funds federally for investing in different transit options that best fit a
community and working with business creatively to provide workers more flexibility to reduce their
driving, work from home or adopt flex time to address congestion problems and enhance our
quality of life.


Kitzhaber 2010 | Building A Clean Energy Future and Safeguarding Oregon’s Natural Environment            4
We also should be preparing for the promising new transportation
technologies coming our way. Currently, internal combustion engines are
the primary means of powering vehicles. By supporting electric vehicle
charging infrastructure and incentives to move us toward plug-in hybrid and
all electric vehicles, we can reduce the cost of transportation for individuals
and businesses and dramatically reduce emissions. Oregon already has
a major manufacturing presence for virtually all modes of transportation
except conventional vehicles. Recently, several electric vehicle companies
and projects have located in our state thus we now have a solid base for
manufacturing components and whole vehicles in this emerging industry.

Electric vehicles will present both challenges and new opportunities for the
electricity system. While promoting the adoption of electric vehicles, we
must work to ensure that they do not drive up costs of electricity or create
distribution system congestion issues.
                                                                                                Investing and Innovating
Oregon has also been a leader in developing more sustainable, lower                             for the Future
carbon fuels and must continue to capitalize on our natural resource base                       The Oregon Institute of Technology, in
and create sustainable fuels that promote local economic development                            Klamath Falls, has become a leader in
benefits and reduce air pollution.                                                              investing in a renewable energy future
                                                                                                and preparing Oregonians for the new
                                                                                                jobs in that future. It has been a leader for
Reaching our Goals                                                                              Oregon and the nation in pledging to be a
                                                                                                climate neutral institution by 2017 through
Addressing climate change and air quality is a shared responsibility for the                    reduction in consumption, improved
benefit of every American citizen. I believe we clearly need an aggressive                      building efficiency, construction of a low-
initiative by the U.S. Congress to make the United States the world leader in                   temperature geothermal power plant
                                                                                                and use of solar arrays. OIT also hosts
reducing carbon emissions and I will work with our Congressional delegation
                                                                                                the Oregon Renewable Energy Center
toward that end. However, we should not wait for federal action to assume                       (OREC), which conducts applied research
our responsibilities here in the Northwest. As Governor I will fully support                    on photovoltaic power systems, ground-
the goal of reducing Oregon’s greenhouse gas emissions to 10% below                             source heating systems, fuel-cell systems,
1990 levels by 2020. I will also spearhead an integrated regional approach                      wind, biomass and integrated systems.

with Washington and California, either as part of the Western Climate                           It is also created the first Bachelor of
Initiative, or in a new, strategic alliance.                                                    Science in Renewable Energy Engineering
                                                                                                in North America which includes courses
                                                                                                on subjects such as photovoltaics, energy
A Comprehensive Energy and Carbon Reduction Plan
                                                                                                management and auditing, wind power,
While I fully support the state greenhouse gas reduction goal, simply stating                   biofuels, renewable-energy transportation
a goal is not enough. We need a strategic climate and energy roadmap                            systems, green building and fuel cells.
that lays out the practical steps to meet and implement that goal, and                          OIT notes that graduates of the program
                                                                                                will be prepared for employment as field
benchmarks against which to systematically and frequently measure our
                                                                                                engineers, energy auditors, renewable
progress. During the course of my campaign, I will lay the groundwork for a                     energy system integrators for homes and
strategic plan that integrates the state emission reduction goal, the Renewable                 businesses, manufacturing engineers for
Energy Standard, aggressive conservation and energy efficiency strategies,                      component and subsystem manufacturers,
the Low Carbon Fuel Standard and the Renewable Fuel Standard into a                             designers for components and
                                                                                                subsystems, local and state government
comprehensive state Energy and Climate Strategic Plan. Implementation of
                                                                                                renewable-energy inspectors, planners and
this plan will begin within the first 100 days of my taking office. This plan will              other positions in the energy field.
be developed and implemented in a manner that dissolves the many agency


Kitzhaber 2010 | Building A Clean Energy Future and Safeguarding Oregon’s Natural Environment                                               5
and stakeholder silos that are currently hindering progress. I will introduce new goals
for other economic sectors that link new jobs and business opportunities with reduction of
greenhouse gasses.

I will also create the authority to integrate all state policies and programs, such as transportation,
energy, agriculture, land use planning and others, that have relevance to climate change and
energy issues. This body will have a clear directive to oversee implementation of the state Energy
and Climate Strategic Plan and the climate change communications and outreach strategies and
the staff support to do so. Unlike prior attempts to coordinate agencies for consistent energy and
climate change policies, this will be a cabinet-level effort with executive authority.

Even with a strategic plan in place, we will need to be innovative in how we finance our activities
and will need to ensure that we have the workforce, public knowledge and continuing research to
deliver efficiency and clean energy in an integrated manner with our existing energy mix in an effort
to manage the critical transition ahead.


Finance
In order to grow clean energy jobs, we need to help direct the financial investment that creates
those jobs. I believe that the single most important thing we can do to jumpstart investment in
energy efficiency and renewable production is to leverage our state and federal dollars by creating
a clean energy financing platform and strengthening existing financing mechanisms. Beyond mere
tax incentives, this clean energy development fund would pool fragmented state and federal
energy-related dollars. It would offer clean energy projects a range of much needed financing
options from loan guarantees to grants (and, yes, tax incentives where they work), coordinate with
banks and private foundations, and create more jobs by unlocking and leveraging frozen private
and pension credit markets. We should even explore providing financing against the carbon and
renewable credit benefit provided by clean energy projects and, in the case of efficiency projects,
the future savings drawn from the efficiency. In short, this mechanism would provide a way for
Oregon to provide the technical and financial support needed for banks to begin lending more
money for clean energy projects.

Some of this innovative work is already being done on a pilot project scale in Oregon, but even
more access and efficiencies could be achieved if it were done statewide, championed by the
Governor and accessed through the regional public-private regional sustainable development
centers that I have proposed.

Aggregating public funds is a powerful signal to private investors with the desire to put their
private dollars to work in a state that values both public and private innovation and collaboration.
To further the clean energy financing vehicle concept I will make it a top priority to make the rules
of engagement in Oregon as consistent and as understandable as possible.


Delivering the Goods: Education, Workforce and Research
In addition to providing financing opportunities, it is also critical that we work with our post-
secondary institutions to: 1) continue cutting edge research and development on renewable energy
and efficiency technologies; and 2) create a workforce for the new renewable and energy efficiency
economy. Visionary work at places like Lane Community College with its energy management


Kitzhaber 2010 | Building A Clean Energy Future and Safeguarding Oregon’s Natural Environment            6
program, Hood River Community College with its wind technician program and OIT with its first
in the nation renewable energy engineering degree has given Oregon a competitive advantage.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers training programs for solar installers is another
example to build upon. Our status as a leader is further evidenced through Oregon’s successful
application for the Department of Labor’s State Energy Sector Partnership grant. Through this
grant, Oregon will receive funds for over 1000 participants to earn a degree or certificate related
to targeted clean technology industries.

This training will prepare workers for occupations in energy efficiency and renewable energy
industries, including occupations that have long-term demand, offer the potential for high wage,
career pathway jobs, and support local sourcing and innovation. Program partners will develop
new curricula, adapt existing curricula, and complete development of the Oregon Green Tech
Certificate. As Governor I will continue to bolster these programs.

I also support the step made by the 2009 Legislature in passing HB 3300, which requires the Oregon
Workforce Investment Board to develop a statewide Green Jobs strategic plan. This plan will be
submitted to the Legislature in 2011 and I am committed to ensuring its effective implementation.

Finally, I will pursue, along with our congressional delegation, the establishment of a National
Laboratory in Oregon. This will allow us to better leverage our ingenuity and talent and will further
position us to benefit environmentally and economically by playing a key role in the development
of other exciting technologies. For example, next phase battery, electric vehicle and fuel cell
development has already taken root in Oregon, and a National Lab would further enhance our
opportunities to take advantage of the commercial and emissions reduction potential from these
technologies. Other examples include the ocean energy initiative at Oregon State University, and
opportunities to develop, use and market biomass conversion technologies that can make use of
Oregon’s forest and farm biomass resource in environmentally responsible ways.




Kitzhaber 2010 | Building A Clean Energy Future and Safeguarding Oregon’s Natural Environment           7
II. Protecting Oregon’s Natural Environment
and Healthy Communities
What comes to mind when we think of Oregon? I believe most of us think of the sheer beauty and
grandeur of this state, as well as a comfortable home, good job, and good friends.

At this point in our growth, however, our state is not entirely healthy. Iconic species are at risk of
extinction, water quality in most streams is impaired, and many rivers run low in late summer – leaving
us without water to meet our needs. At the same time, we are facing the volatile effects of climate
change that may drastically alter the state’s vegetation and further hasten some species to extinction.

In addition to environmental problems, the next Governor will take office at a time of grave economic
hardship, with double-digit unemployment and dwindling state revenues. We are facing almost
certain cuts in government services, and with more than half of the state budget supporting health
and social service programs, we can expect cuts in these areas at a time when people need greater
assistance, not less.

Yet even in these challenging times, I believe we can meet multiple challenges, build a stronger sense
of community, and prepare our children and ourselves for the future.

In my first administration, I developed an approach to addressing the health of our environment
by funding restoration actions proposed by community groups. We called this the Oregon Plan for
Salmon and Watersheds. And we called these community groups “watershed councils.” The concept
was to provide funding, incentives, and technical resources to these community groups, and let them
work with neighbors to improve the health of their own watersheds. Over the last dozen years, the
number of watershed councils has grown from two to more than eighty. These groups have worked
side by side with Soil and Water Conservation Districts and the cooperative extension services to
engage landowners in voluntarily improving agricultural, timber, and other land use practices. As a
result of these local efforts, we have seen major improvements in conservation, as well as a growing
number of conservation related jobs in the community.

Over the next decade, we have the opportunity to aggressively promote Oregon’s comparative
natural advantages in the globally expanding clean economy. If we position ourselves strategically,
we can anticipate new markets and be ready with efficient and environmentally friendly products
and services. In this changing world, I believe we will see business growth in demand forecasting,
information flow, and innovative thinking. These are all areas where Oregonians excel.

As we set our course to restore the health of our state, it is important that we pay particular attention
to our youth, because they are the future. As our society has urbanized, some children have lost a
connection to the natural world. They don’t understand how their lives are supported by natural
resources, or the need to protect the qualities that keep our ecosystems functioning. Fortunately,
the fix is both easy and rewarding: we can engage them in solving the problems of today through
our school curriculum and summer work programs. And the result of involving youth in the challenges
of today will be a strong and educated workforce for tomorrow.

The focus of my Governorship will be fostering the collective talents of our communities to create
a resilient and sustainable economy and a healthy environment and communities that someday our
children will manage with equal or greater wisdom.


Kitzhaber 2010 | Building A Clean Energy Future and Safeguarding Oregon’s Natural Environment               8
Managing Public Resources Differently
Land With more than half of Oregon in federal ownership, the health of federal lands is extremely
important to our state. Over the last century, an approach has evolved to managing these public
resources that none of us would invent today. At the federal level, we can have dozens of agencies in
four separate Departments responsible for what happens on a single acre. At the state level, we can
add up to a dozen additional agencies with some authority over this acre. In spite of well-intentioned
people engaged in all of these agencies, the overall results are not positive. Federal forests are over-
stocked, many are dying from bug damage or disease, and presenting a major risk of catastrophic
fire. Public rangelands are infested with noxious weeds and sometimes overgrazed. The ranges of
fish and wildlife species are shrinking, and ever-greater numbers are in danger of extinction. At the
same time, the rapid development of renewable energy, critical for reducing our carbon footprint, is
creating new tensions over land use and species protection.

I don’t believe we can afford the separate and competitive natural resource agency structure that has
evolved in our country. I am interested in testing a model based on community collaboration, similar
to the Oregon Solutions teams that my previous administration pioneered and which is also evident
in the Collaborative Stewardship model currently being tested by the US Forest Service in select
National Forests around the country and in Oregon. I would like to see us provide the structure and
support for solving problems at the watershed or subbasin scale, with relevant agencies and non-
governmental organizations collaborating with local communities on desired outcomes.

As I see it, the federal and state agencies would provide policy and technical staff to these regional
teams, and together they would develop the best management scenario to achieve the desired
results. The teams might also seek support from research institutions and tap into successful
approaches used in other communities and watersheds across Oregon and around the world.

We know we need new methods of working together to solve the complex problems of today.
The old silos that separate transportation, energy, land use, fish and wildlife, water, and economic
development don’t work. I envision working with Oregonians at the scale of communities and
watersheds to provide an integrated approach. I believe these teams can take on issues such as
developing clean energy, securing supplies of clean and abundant water without destroying fish
populations, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, promoting carbon sequestration, maintaining
biological diversity, and – a goal underlying all of our efforts – reducing unemployment.

Similar opportunities exist in our urban areas for “eco-district” neighborhoods that can assume
greater responsibility for managing their energy, water, green space, and transportation resources
to achieve greater efficiency and utility for residents and businesses.

In particular, I would advocate for the following:

     •	    Simplify the existing complex and duplicative permit process for habitat restoration in a
           watershed by engaging all relevant parties in local decision-making.

     •	    Integrate water conservation and energy efficiency into this local decision-making process
           with the goal of developing energy-efficient neighborhoods that minimize transportation
           needs and energy use and maximize water and habitat protection.

     •	    Include carbon accounting as a part of the urban and suburban planning process, thus
           driving the transformation to higher densities and a focus on transit systems.

Kitzhaber 2010 | Building A Clean Energy Future and Safeguarding Oregon’s Natural Environment              9
     •	    Create a collaborative process for siting clean energy projects. As Oregon’s renewable
           energy portfolio moves to the mainstream, we need to integrate our overall climate goals
           with our need to protect precious lands and wildlife. Inevitable conflicts need to be resolved
           through a structured process that includes clear guidelines, transparency, and timeliness.

     •	    Create incentives and investment avenues for development of distributed energy production
           facilities, and the necessary infrastructure to support the transmission and distribution
           network for smart grid and electric car conversion applications.

Climate change will affect our lands, and the people and creatures that inhabit them. We in turn
must integrate the impending effects of climate change into our planning and management
tools and practices. For example, allowing new development where water resources are already
constrained and will become more so, or where increased forest fire or coastal erosion activity are
likely, is not responsible. The Department of Land Conservation and Development must take the
lead in identifying where such new risks are emerging, and adapt our development management
tools to recognize and adjust to them.

Water One of our acute challenges in Oregon is reduced water availability. Many have suggested
that we are entering another era of reservoir construction. Unfortunately, I do not believe it is that
simple. Nearly all of the logical reservoir sites are either not feasible for technical, environmental
or economic reasons, or they have already been built. More promising are several options that
communities are exploring such as aquifer storage and recharge, and while these may help, they
are not a universal cure.

In order to stretch our water supplies well into the future while we maintain the quality of our
environment, there are several actions that we know will return good value for our investment.
These include water conservation, investing in natural storage in riparian areas and uplands,
removing invasive species, enforcing existing laws, providing incentives for efficiency, and
developing a long-range water supply plan.

These efforts would include:

     •	    Develop a consistent and holistic water policy including further development and
           implementation of the strategic water policy recommended by HB 3369.

     •	    In particular, anticipate where climate change is likely to increasingly influence water
           availability and quality – whether by reason of winter flooding or late summer drought –
           and introduce these considerations into water management policies and practices.

     •	    Institute an aggressive water measurement program and water user education program
           geared toward “water rights and responsibilities.”

     •	    Invest in watershed improvements that will produce natural storage and improve the
           hydrograph of streams impacted by past and current land use practices.

     •	    Enforce existing water laws rather than create a whole new system that won’t be enforced.
           Effective enforcement could stretch the available water in many places.

     •	    Where surface and ground waters are closely interconnected, revisit water management tools
           to ensure that such connections are recognized in the issuing and regulation of water rights.



Kitzhaber 2010 | Building A Clean Energy Future and Safeguarding Oregon’s Natural Environment               10
     •	    Actively explore how to fund and develop environmentally sound supplies to supplement
           late summer flows for wildlife and for humans, and address the issue of water quantity.

Fish and Wildlife Over the last several decades, we have seen many native fish and wildlife species
in Oregon decline. We have prepared recovery plans for some of these species, and we should
implement these plans. But if this trend continues and is exacerbated by climate change, we may
see a dramatic loss in biological diversity. To slow this process, we should begin now to work with
partners to protect and restore our landscapes that have the greatest biological diversity.

By “protection” I don’t mean simply creating wilderness area. While this may be a step we take
in some places, supporting biological diversity can and should occur in watersheds inhabited by
humans. If the diversity is still there, that means man and nature are already living in harmony. We can
provide additional incentives for desired riparian behaviors such as opening oxbows, growing trees,
and replacing blackberries with native vegetation. We might use lower risk approaches and natural
processes in these most resilient and biologically diverse places. And on our more aggressively
managed lands or those that are changing rapidly as a result of variations in precipitation and
temperature, we might accept higher risk management approaches while still providing wildlife
corridors for at risk species to increase their chances of survival and ability to relocate.

I have many other thoughts on how to conserve the fish and wildlife species that have made our
state the amazing place that it is. These include:

     •	    Place a high priority on supporting Oregon’s watershed councils, soil and water conservation
           districts, and extension services that work cooperatively with landowners on conservation.

     •	    Build on the Willamette Strategic Investment Partnership to engage all levels of government
           and the private sector in restoring and protecting the health and quality of life in the
           Willamette Valley for native species and for humans.

     •	    With the input of all stakeholders, support and build on the fledgling network of marine
           reserves to provide for the long-term health of our oceans.

     •	    Advocate for an extension and improvement of our support for parks and habitat through
           dedicated lottery funds. We need even stronger opportunities to support local, regional
           and statewide partnerships to expand recreation opportunities, improve water quality and
           conserve fish and wildlife habitat. I am especially supportive of the strong measures for
           auditing and reporting requirements to insure the funds are spent as the voters intend.

Influencing Private Land Management through Incentives
Agriculture The world of farming has grown more technically complex over the last few
decades, while expenses have skyrocketed and the volatility of commodity prices has accelerated.
We need to be willing to redesign incentives in order for farmers and ranchers to continue to be
productive while maintaining the health of their lands. I have great faith in local ingenuity to help
us meet these challenges.

As mentioned above, we need to develop a long-range water plan with the assistance of the people
that will be most affected. Farmers need certainty that water will be available for their crops just as
municipalities need certainty that water will be available for their people.



Kitzhaber 2010 | Building A Clean Energy Future and Safeguarding Oregon’s Natural Environment              11
We also need to support programs that have been the basis for delivery of technical assistance to
ranchers and farmers on conservation. I intend to support programs that have been effective, and
reinvent programs that are little used or do not achieve the desired results. I also support the idea of
an Oregon Sustainable Agriculture Resource Center to provide farmers and ranchers with the latest
and best information available, including carbon and nutrient management, giving them the ability
to market high quality food around the world.

Finally, we need to continue programs such as Farm to School and expand our understanding of
local agricultural supply chains and farming in urban and suburban areas.

Forestry Oregon’s industrial private forestlands tend to be managed under short rotation for
commercial use. That is appropriate, as state and federal lands carry a higher burden of species
protection that private forests. Small woodlot owners tend to retain older forest structure, and
small woodlots have historically provided much needed respites for fish and wildlife. Nonetheless,
as climate change alters local precipitation and temperature patterns, the health of private forests,
both large and small, may be in jeopardy.

Private forestlands have a large role to play in carbon sequestration, watershed health, and species
recovery. In a global commodity market that is increasingly difficult for forest landowners, efforts to
expand markets that provide private forest landowners with more management options tied to more
diverse revenue streams should be pursued. The State Department of Forestry should help monitor
the health of private forestland and provide the kind of regulatory flexibility to maximize the health
of these forests. In addition, the state should both monitor and discourage the conversion of forests
to subdivisions and vacation residences. These trends lead to further declines in ecosystem health.


Environmental Health and Toxics Reduction
Preventative health practice today must address the risks posed by exposure to synthetic chemicals
commonly found in households, communities and businesses. Tens of thousands of synthetic
chemicals produced over the last century – some known to be toxic and many others for which
regulation has failed to establish basic data on toxicity – make their way into our homes, our bodies
and our environment through consumer products that we use every day or manufacturing practices.
Scientific evidence continues to accumulate, drawing connections between low doses of chemical
exposure and serious chronic illnesses for which trends are on the rise. Children are especially
vulnerable to chemical exposures as their bodies and brains develop and we’ve seen rising trends
of childhood cancers, asthma and autism.

Oregon is doing some of the leading research nationally on the development of safer
chemical alternatives, called Green Chemistry, at the University of Oregon. We have
the knowledge base, as well as a significant amount of commitment, to pursue the
development of safer chemicals that do not pose risks to human health or the ecosystem.
We must capitalize on this advantage, and move forward to transition our society away
from the dependence on these unhealthy chemicals that are causing harm to our society.




Kitzhaber 2010 | Building A Clean Energy Future and Safeguarding Oregon’s Natural Environment              12
III. Conclusion
We have recently experienced some very difficult economic times in Oregon. And some believe
that tough economic times call for loosening the regulations that protect our environment and
our communities. As I have discussed in this paper, I believe that the economic success in Oregon
depends upon our environment and expanding our current world class expertise in the clean
economy. In other words, it is by honoring our natural heritage through leading on energy efficiency,
renewable development, healthy communities and ecosystem management that we will create new
jobs immediately and set Oregon up to achieve a long term sustainable economy. As I said at the
outset, I hope you will join me in reaching for a thriving and sustainable future for our state.




Kitzhaber 2010 | Building A Clean Energy Future and Safeguarding Oregon’s Natural Environment           13
Contact Us

Kitzhaber 2010
PO Box 4593
Portland, OR 97208


Phone: (503) 217-6222
Email: campaign@johnkitzhaber.com




                                     Paid for by Kitzhaber 2010

                                         Computer Generated



Kitzhaber 2010 | Building A Clean Energy Future and Safeguarding Oregon’s Natural Environment   14

								
To top