Oregon governor signs biofuels legislation

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Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski recently was joined by legislators and environmental and agricultural leaders at a biofuels facility in Eugene, Ore., to sign House Bill 2210, which creates a renewable fuel standard and tax incentives for both consumers and producers of biofuels.

“These bills will not only create financial opportunities for Oregon’s agricultural sectors, but it will help reduce our greenhouse gas emissions while creating thousands of jobs in rural Oregon,” Kulongoski said at the July 3 signing event.

House Bill 2210 — coupled with Senate Bill 838, the Governor’s Renewable Portfolio Standard of 25 percent of Oregon’s electricity coming from renewable sources by 2025 — will make Oregon’s commitment to renewable and alternative energy among the most ambitious in the nation.

The major components of House Bill 2210 include that all gasoline sold in the state must be blended with 10 percent ethanol after Oregon production of ethanol reaches 40 million gallons per year. All diesel fuel sold in the state must be blended with 2 percent biodiesel when the production of biodiesel from sources in the Pacific Northwest reaches a level of at least 5 million gallons per year. The biodiesel blending requirement increases to 5 percent when annual production reaches a level of at least 15 million gallons per year.

The legislation creates aggressive greenhouse gas reduction goals of 10 percent below 1990 levels by 2020; and 75 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. It also creates a global warming commission and a university-level climate research center.