Companies seek extension of clean fuels program

Wind Turbines

 

SALEM, Ore. — Renewable-energy companies are seeking an extension of Oregon’s clean fuels program beyond the current expiration of 2015.

Executives from those companies have asked Oregon lawmakers to continue the program, but oil companies and large-volume fuel users say the state is moving too fast and risks raising fuel costs significantly.

An Oregon Senate committee heard public testimony Monday but took no action.

Oregon was one of the first states to approve a low-carbon fuel standard in 2009, requiring fuel producers to reduce the carbon content of their fuel by 10 percent from their 2010 levels. The Environmental Quality Commission has created a pollution-reporting mandate but has not fully implemented the standard.

State officials say they need the Legislature to continue the program before they can go beyond a reporting requirement and begin forcing fuel providers to reduce the amount of greenhouse-gas emissions.