After a blistering article in the Oregonian newspaper (www.oregonlive.com) the popular Business Energy Tax Credit is undergoing change and scrutiny. The controversy centers on large tax credits awarded over the last two years to renewable energy projects in the state. Earlier this month, the Oregon Department of Energy issued temporary new rules for the BETC program. (For a copy visit www.oregon.gov/energy). Oregon legislators, already suspicious of this and other tax credits in the state, have pounced and pre-legislative session work groups have formed to discuss reforms. BETC credits for energy efficiency projects (which were not given the lucrative increases by the Kulongoski administration that renewable projects received) have not been fingered in the controversy. However, the energy efficiency baby may be in some jeopardy if decision-makers move to throw out the bathwater. NEEC Board members are participating in a number of the work groups formed around this issue to help ensure that the good and practical use of the BETC to stimulate cost effective energy efficiency projects remains viable.
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