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Governor, rival agree on energy tax credit

The Oregonian|Jeff Mapes|August 2, 2006
OregonGeneralTaxes & Subsidies

Gov. Ted Kulongoski proposed increasing the state's tax credit for energy efficiency and alternative fuels on Monday, an idea quickly seconded by Republican rival Ron Saxton.


The Democratic governor told a forum on the "hydrogen economy" that he wants Oregon to be a leader in developing alternative energy, including fuel cells powered by hydrogen.

Kulongoski said he wants the next Legislature to increase the tax credit for energy projects to $10 million over five years, from the current maximum of $3.5 million. Businesses would be allowed to take a credit on as much as half of a project's cost, compared with 35 percent now.

Michael Grainey, director of the state Energy Department, said the bigger tax break would cost state government an estimated $6.5 million by the 2009-11 budget cycle.

Saxton's campaign manager, Felix Schein, said his candidate backs the more generous tax break, believing that the "more the state can do to encourage alternative fuels, the better."

Kulongoski promoted his record on alternative fuels, noting that he has ordered state government to meet all of its electricity needs with renewable energy by 2010.

He said the bigger tax credit could encourage development ... more [truncated due to possible copyright]

     

The Democratic governor told a forum on the "hydrogen economy" that he wants Oregon to be a leader in developing alternative energy, including fuel cells powered by hydrogen.

Kulongoski said he wants the next Legislature to increase the tax credit for energy projects to $10 million over five years, from the current maximum of $3.5 million. Businesses would be allowed to take a credit on as much as half of a project's cost, compared with 35 percent now.

Michael Grainey, director of the state Energy Department, said the bigger tax break would cost state government an estimated $6.5 million by the 2009-11 budget cycle.

Saxton's campaign manager, Felix Schein, said his candidate backs the more generous tax break, believing that the "more the state can do to encourage alternative fuels, the better."

Kulongoski promoted his record on alternative fuels, noting that he has ordered state government to meet all of its electricity needs with renewable energy by 2010.

He said the bigger tax credit could encourage development of hydrogen fueling stations in Oregon for a new generation of cars. The National Hydrogen Association says there are 62 hydrogen fueling stations in the U.S. and Canada, largely to serve test fleets.

Responding to audience questions, Kulongoski said he doesn't know whether he would support locating a hydrogen pipeline in Oregon. He noted that he has opposed offshore drilling and siting an oil refinery in the state. But he said he would support locating a liquefied natural gas terminal in Oregon, preferably in the Coos Bay area.

The hydrogen economy meeting was part of the HydroVision 2006 conference, sponsored by the hydroelectric industry, at the Oregon Convention Center this week.

Jeff Mapes: 503-221-8209; jeffmapes@news.oregonian.com


Source:http://www.oregonlive.com/new…

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