Making Oregon a Leader in Clean Energy
The massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a fresh reminder of the dangers of our dependence on dirty fossil fuels like oil and coal. We send billions of dollars a day out of the Pacific Northwest and across the world to nations in the Middle East that are hostile to our interests because of our dependence on foreign oil. Burning fossil fuels is a primary cause of global warming that threatens our forests, farms and quality of life.
Ron Wyden knows there’s a better way. Oregon is leading the way in building a clean energy economy. Oregon’s’ abundant, local supply of wind, wave, solar, geothermal and biomass resources provide cheap, stable power for our economy and keep our energy dollars here at home. A Pew Charitable Trust last year found Oregon has more green jobs as a share of our economy than any other state. Ron Wyden’s commitment to sustainability and the right polices and incentives is cementing Oregon’s position as a leader in the clean energy economy.
Training Our Workforce for the Clean Energy Future
A skilled, capable workforce is vital to taking advantage of our renewable energy resources and attracting new industries and investments to Oregon. Ron Wyden has championed strengthening community college programs to prepare students and workers for good-paying jobs in our emerging clean energy economy. He recently secured $5 million to train over 1,600 Oregon workers for jobs in the green economy and his personal appeals have attracted a variety of clean energy, high tech employers to do business in Oregon. Ron is working with our higher education and vocational training leaders to make sure we have the skilled workers to fill those new jobs.
Cutting Through Red Tape to Build World’s Largest Wind Farm Here in Oregon
We are well on our way to tapping Eastern Oregon’s vast wind resources, some of the cheapest clean energy on the market today. But Ron Wyden knows that if we lose our momentum developers will invest elsewhere. That is why when the Pentagon stalled construction of the world’s largest wind farm, Shepherd’s Flat Ron Wyden took on the Bureaucrats and got the project going again, winning a major victory for clean energy jobs in Oregon
Creating Locally Grown Biofuels to Cut our Dependence on Foreign Oil
Ron Wyden has helped build Oregon’s biofuels industry. Biofuel is a technology tailored to the strengths of the Northwest that promises local jobs and inexpensive local energy. Ron Wyden won amendments to the 2008 Farm Bill that led to the use of forest and farm wastes for biofuels, while protecting vulnerable lands and forests. The most recent result of his efforts in this area was the June 2010, ground-breaking on a new biorefinery in Boardman that will use wood, grasses and other inedible parts of plants to produce cleaner, sustainable biofuels and add over 100 jobs to the local economy.
Tapping Oregon’s Massive Geothermal Energy Resources
Oregon’s Cascade Mountains offer massive geothermal resources that can be tapped to generate cheap, sustainable energy. Ron Wyden secured millions in federal investments over the past decade in Oregon’s growing geothermal industry for communities include Klamath Falls, Bend and Paisley. Already providing cheap power to Klamath Falls and the Oregon Institute of Technology, Oregon will producing up to 210 megawatts of additional geothermal power in the next decade.
Ensuring a Steady Stream of Clean Energy for Oregon Consumers
To ensure a stable amount of power is available from renewable sources, it is critical that we develop better ability to store energy to meet the demands of consumers. That is why Ron Wyden has authored legislation to drive the commercialization of energy storage systems. As Ron’s efforts bring more storage technology to market they will drive faster and more significant develop of domestic, cheap, renewable power for Oregon’s economy.