Promote Renewable Energyby Jim DiPeso
The Oregonian, October 9, 2003
Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., was among 53 senators who signed a letter last week demanding that pending energy legislation set a standard to promote renewable energy projects. Unfortunately, congressional leaders managing the bill seem determined not to listen.
Renewable energy has many environmental benefits, including prevention of greenhouse gas emissions. Global warming poses many risks to Oregon. Among them is shrinkage of the mountain snowpack that supplies water for cities, irrigation, hydropower and salmon fisheries. Renewable resources produce electricity without harmful emissions.
Renewable energy also will create economic benefits for Oregon. The federal Department of Energy estimates that Oregon has excellent wind resources capable of supplying nearly all of the state's electricity needs. Oregon also has great potential for producing power from geothermal resources and from biomass, such as dairy cattle waste.
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