July 2018 Newsletter
ODOE Holds Budget Open House and Public Meeting, Preps 2019-21 Agency Request Budget
Thanks to everyone who attended our 2019-21 budget open house and meeting. If you missed the event, we have meeting materials available on our website, and we'd be happy to provide an audio recording of the presentation.
We'll submit our Agency Request Budget to the Oregon Department of Administrative Services in August, where it will be evaluated and analyzed as the Governor's Recommended Budget is developed later this fall. Each agency's budget is carefully considered by the Oregon Legislature in the appropriate Joint Ways and Means subcommittees. As meetings and hearings on the ODOE budget are scheduled during the 2019 legislative session, we'll keep you posted so you can offer feedback to legislators as they vote on our budget for the next biennium.
New Energy Facility Siting Rules on Carbon Take Effect
At the end of June, the Energy Facility Siting Council held a hearing on proposed changes to EFSC rules for carbon dioxide emissions from certain energy facilities. The public hearing followed months of research and discussion through a Rulemaking Advisory Committee set up to work with ODOE staff and help advise the Council.
One goal with the June rulemaking was to ensure EFSC's carbon dioxide standards are keeping pace with improved efficiencies of power plants. EFSC’s carbon dioxide standards are intended to encourage developers proposing fossil-fueled energy facilities to build the most efficient facility possible. Rules that better reflect industry capabilities can help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emitted from fossil-fueled energy facilities under EFSC jurisdiction. Just as importantly, the updated rules reduce the net amount of greenhouse gases attributable to fossil-fueled energy facilities under EFSC jurisdiction by requiring offsets of carbon dioxide emissions above the Council’s standards.
More on the Rulemaking Advisory Committee and the EFSC deliberations can be found on our website.
Following the conclusion of the hearing, the Council approved the amended language, and the new rules took effect on July 18. This rulemaking was the second part of a two-phase effort to update EFSC rules for fossil-fueled energy facilities. In October 2017, EFSC updated its rules for the monetary offset rate for CO2 emissions from qualifying facilities.
Connecting Oregonians With Their Utilities
One of the more popular pages on the ODOE website is Find Your Utility, where visitors can see a list of utilities serving the state. As our GIS capabilities have increased here at our agency (check out our map of energy facilities!), we knew we could make the page a little more user-friendly by offering a search feature that helps to narrow down which utilities serve certain areas.
We're happy to launch that new feature this week. Visitors to the new Find Your Utility page can zoom in on their location or enter their specific address to see which utilities serve them. Because more than one utility can serve different areas, and because our boundary information is good but not perfect, we encourage people to contact the utility directly and provide links to easily reach out.
Check out the new page on our website, and please share any feedback you have for us.
Go Electric Oregon is your one-stop shop for information on how the state of Oregon is supporting the electric vehicle revolution. As more and more Oregonians plug in to electricity to fuel their vehicles, state agencies including ODOE are hard at work helping to make sure that infrastructure across the state keeps up. And for those Oregonians who aren't quite ready to make the plunge to EVs, Go Electric Oregon provides the latest details about how the passenger vehicle market is changing, with new all-electric and electric-hybrid vehicles being introduced all the time.
New this month: Tesla Motors reports that it has officially sold 200,000 vehicles in the United States. This means that the federal electric vehicle tax credit will begin to phase out, with a reduction from $7,500 to $3,750, then from $3,750 to $1,875. Tesla is the first automaker to sell 200,000 units or more of an all-electric vehicle.
While the federal tax credit will phase out for Teslas specifically, it's still available for other all-electric and plug-in hybrid cars. Plus, the Department of Environmental Quality has a rebate program for Oregonians purchasing or leasing EVs, as do several Oregon utilities.
Keep up with this fast-changing world on the new Go Electric Oregon website. Have a story to share about how your utility, business, or organization is supporting EVs? Drop us a line.
Reports From Around the Agency
- Nerd out with us! Our own Ken Niles and Jeff Burright will present this Thursday, August 2, at OMSI Science Pub in Portland. The topic to go along with your pub beverage of choice: the Hanford nuclear site in Washington state. Learn about its long history as part of the Manhattan project, and the even longer forecast for environmental cleanup. The event starts at 7 p.m., with full event details here.
- Don't forget that we're seeking public comment on a request for an exemption related to the Jordan Cove Energy Project. Get all the details on our website. Comments are due by August 13, 2018.
- Say hello to Alan Zelenka, our new Assistant Director for Policy & Innovation here at ODOE, who's featured on our blog this month.
- It's easier than ever to keep up with ODOE news: we've added our monthly newsletter to the blog for easy access and sharing (here's last month's). Of course you can still sign up for newsletter subscriptions here. And don't forget that our website features information about our advisory groups and public meetings, with easily downloadable agendas and presentation materials available.
- The Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line project has been working its way through both state and federal review processes. The state process has reached a new milestone this month, with an amended project order issued by ODOE on July 26, 2018. We expect to help facilitate public meetings on the project this fall, so stay tuned for details. In the meantime, the B2H project website offers a good place to start for details.
Want to be part of shaping Oregon's energy future? Come work with us at the Oregon Department of Energy! We have several positions open in administrative services - the critical behind-the-scenes work that keeps our agency running smoothly - and an energy facility analyst position open, too. Check out the jobs page on our website for more details and to apply.
Energy Facility Siting Council | August 23-24 | Boardman
Energy Facility Siting Council | September 27-28 | Coos Bay
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