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April 16, 2007

The Honorable Jackie Dingfelder
Oregon State Representative
Chair, House Energy and the Environment Committee

The Honorable Brad Avakian
Oregon State Senator
Chairman, Environment and Natural Resources Committee

Oregon State Legislature
900 Court St, NE
Salem, Oregon 97301

Dear Representative Dingfelder and Senator Avakian:

We are writing as members of Oregon's business community in support of three companion bills that, taken together, will permit Oregon to substantially and systematically reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

We believe that a healthy business climate and Oregon's historically high standards of environmental quality are fully compatible and mutually reinforcing. To express this view collectively, we have formed an Oregon chapter of Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), a national, non-partisan organization of business leaders who believe that strong environmental policy promotes economic growth.

We note that in 2004, Governor Kulongoski's Advisory Group on Global Warming, a broad-based citizen stakeholder's group, delivered recommendations to the Governor that are reflected in these bills; and those recommendations have subsequently been refined by two additional public stakeholder groups: the Climate Change Integration Group and the Carbon Allocation Task Force.
  • The Climate Change Integration Act (House bill) creates or empowers the institutions Oregon needs to carry out this multi-decadal greenhouse gas reduction task.

  • The Emissions Performance Standard Act (House bill) sends an immediate signal to developers of new, polluting coal plants that their power cannot find a market in Oregon. With parallel actions in California (adopted, SB 1368) and Washington (proposed), this action sends the clearest possible economic signal that the states of the west coast will not financially support the construction of such generation with our power purchase commitments.

  • The Carbon Cap and Trade Act (House bill) builds on this signal with a long-term state commitment to reducing emissions of CO2 associated with Oregon electricity, gas and oil use between now and 2050. Such regulatory predictability, together with carefully constructed tools to achieve reductions at lowest costs, and with operational flexibilities, is the most complete and responsible action the State can take. It also positions Oregon to trade emissions allowances with other states, widening the market for emissions reductions and further lowering costs.
The above-described bills had not yet, at the time of this writing, been assigned bill numbers. Once those are assigned we will follow up to let you know the bill numbers. These policies can benefit consumers and businesses as well as reduce Oregon's greenhouse gas emissions. The Governor's Carbon Allocation Task Force, which voted by a substantial majority to recommend the cap-and-trade measure, modeled both utility rate and consumer cost impacts. Its preliminary findings were that under most future circumstances, consumers' energy bills would decline, modestly (utility rates would actually go up modestly, but be more than offset by the consumer's energy efficiency savings).

This policy also benefits Oregon business, offering them opportunities to market carbon reduction products and services to states and countries slower to respond with effective carbon reduction strategies.

We believe the economic and environmental gains achievable if Oregon adopts this package of carbon reduction legislation meets our most rigorous tests, as business people and as citizens, for sensible public policy. We urge their enactment.

Sincerely,

Gail Achterman
Dir, Institute of Natural Resources, OSU
Rick Applegate
Board Member, Energy Trust of Oregon
Len Bergstein
Principle, Northwest Strategies Inc.
Drew Bernard
Partner, Green Lightning LLC
Heather Beusse
Partnership Development Director, GLOBIO
Gun Denhart
Hanna Andersson
Sally DeSipio
Angus Duncan
Bonneville Environmental Foundation
Tom Eckman
Northwest Power Council
Wayne Embree
Cascadia Partners
John Emrick
Norm Thompson
Nancy Floyd
Founder and Managing Director, Nth Power
Don Furman
Don Furman LLC
Henry Hewitt
Chair, Stoel Rives
Terry Hudgens
PPM Energy, Inc.
Tom Kelly
Neil Kelly
Chad Kruse
Eli Lamb
Eric Lemelson
Lemelson Vineyards
John Russell
Russell Development Co.
Gregg Semler
Lucid Energy
Donna Shillinger
Global Account Director, SAP America, Inc.
Tom Sidley
Aequitas Capital Management
Bill Sproull
VP Business Development, ClearEdge Power
Brett Wilcox
Bonneville Environemtnal Foundation
Dennis Wilde
Gerding Edlen Development

26 members

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