Oregon is blessed. Just not with fossil fuels.
In his third article on import substitution, Bob Wise discusses opportunities and strategies to use energy conservation and renewable energy sources to meet future energy needs in lieu of fossil fuels.
From the article: According to the recently released Oregon Energy Task Force’s “Oregon Energy Action Plan” we import 100 percent of the oil, coal and natural gas we burn. This means that we send away roughly 85 percent of the $14 billion we spend to places like Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Texas. This represents a debilitating outflow of capital that can be better deployed for Oregon’s benefit.
Bob describes strategies for energy savings and clean, renewable energy sources. The strategy illustrated in detail in the “Climate 2030 Plan” of the Union of Concerned Scientists suggests that efficiency and clean energy sources can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and at least 80 percent by 2050. In the article, Bob details two strategies that show benefits of applying a similar approach in Oregon, increasing energy efficiency and investing in renewable sources. They may even be greater than UCS estimates because of the extent of Oregon’s dependence on imported fossil fuels.
Read the entire blog, including details of his strategies, on the Sustainable Business Oregon website.
, Energy conservation
, energy efficiency
, Renewable resources
Last Monday, April 23, COC Associate Planner and Community Engagement Specialist Ellen Wyoming took part in a call-in conference hosted by HUD about future sustainable communities grants. We were referred to investigate the sustainable communities clearinghouse best practices – which are modeled on an external website at sustainable cities institute.
From the link below you can select the criteria for the type of project you are looking at and then read about the best practices they have for each particular type of project. It’s quite comprehensive.
On Tuesday, April 24, HUD’s Director for Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities (OSHC), Shelley Poticha, hosted a Twitter Town Hall to discuss the impact of their Sustainable Community Grants program. COC Climate Economy graduate intern Derek Dauphin covered the event. Some key responses to the inbound Tweets follow.
How do sustainable communities benefit people?
(1) They save money by using less energy and water but also by bringing home and work closer together, reducing the costs of transportation, (2) Overall quality of life is better with people spending more time with their families and less time stuck in traffic, and (3) Better health from walking and living in a less polluted place.
How can sustainable communities result in more jobs?
Sustainable Community grant recipients are looking at what growth sectors they can attract and how. Memphis’s sustainability strategies have created 3,500 jobs locally and now the program is moving to the regional level. Austin has created a number of mixed-use developments that have been very successful in attracting businesses including Apple’s new campus. Businesses look for places where talented people want to be for more than 1-2 years. This means great schools, access to nature, neighborhoods that people want to live in and that provide easy access to work – all hallmarks of sustainable communities.
, Sustainable Communities
On January 31, Bob Wise posted the first of six articles on import substitution at www.sustainablebusinessoregon.com/columns. The first article summarizes the crisis in job creation facing Oregon and the nation. Currently most economic development strategies are focused on exports of products – the traded sector. This strategy attempts to capture money from elsewhere and bring it to Oregon. Bob details a totally separate but compatible economic development strategy of import substitution. At its simplest, import substitution replaces spending on imported goods and services for those made locally. This approach keeps money here and circulating rather than sending it away. Over the next few weeks Bob will address how this strategy can be applied to the food we eat, energy we consume, houses we build, public works we construct, and the exemplary companies focused on these markets and others.
, Economic Development
How do you design and facilitate a community meeting on a controversial subject with 175 people who have strong and often conflicting opinions and still keep it civil and productive? Elaine Cogan and Alisha Dishaw of Cogan Owens Cogan met that challenge recently in Union, a small community southeast of LaGrande in eastern Oregon. The subject was an application from a national company to establish a wind farm on private property on Antelope Ridge above the city. Working with our client, the Oregon Department of Energy, Elaine and Alisha employed several successful facilitation techniques that allowed opportunities for all who cared to express themselves within a respectful, welcoming environment during a 2 1/2 hour meeting in the town’s elementary school gymnasium. Interested? Read more at http://www.lagrandeobserver.com/News/Local-News/Hundreds-turn-out-for-wind-farm-hearing-in-Union.
, Public Involvement