Last week and after much anticipation, Governor Kitzhaber announced his top level staff of which a majority has a background in the renewable energy industry. At Dunn Carney’s Ag Summit, the Governor shared that Katy Coba will maintain her position of Director of Agriculture. We are still waiting for the appointment of a Natural Resources Advisor.
At this first press conference after taking office, the Governor announced the following priority proposal for his administration:
– The Department of Energy to invest $2 million of unused federal stimulus money to do energy audits on 500 school buildings.
– Ensure that EPA regulation of biomass reflects the beneficial carbon profile of woody biomass in the Northwest.
– Include preference for biomass boilers in school retrofit programs.
– Set regular meetings with key members of the manufacturing community, and focus on regular communication with the business “clusters” that have developed in Oregon.
– Take administrative action to integrate Oregon’s On-the-Job Training and Career Readiness Certificate Programs to prepare them for scale-up.
– Revamp the Oregon Growth Account to ensure that it is primarily used as an economic development tool.
– Fund the Oregon Innovation Council, one of the most effective public/private partnerships transforming university research into market-ready jobs – responsible for at least 600 jobs in the current biennium.
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