Oregon Solar News

Oregon SolarPAC's First Year a Big Success


Thanks to generous contributions from OSEIA members and solar supporters, Oregon SolarPAC raised $9,845 ahead of the 2017 election--and spent nearly all of it exactly as we'd planned: in support of key candidates for the Oregon State Legislature.

We held meetings and made campaign contributions to Oregon's Governor, Kate Brown and 14 legislative candidates, all of whom won their 2017 elections and are now serving in Salem. Several OSEIA members joined in our candidate meetings, where we discussed issues crucial to Oregon's solar industry: Renewing the Residential Energy Tax Credit (RETC), creating a RETC for community solar, preserving the solar property tax exemption, and ensuring the Oregon's new large scale solar incentive will work as planned.

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OSEIA Surveys Legislators, the Results Are In


Today is the last day Oregonians can register to vote in the 2016 election! If you haven’t registered, do so here. OSEIA has done some research and we want to share results with you as you consider your votes. The 2017 legislative session has a lot of important topics to discuss. Many topics will impact the solar industry in Oregon and beyond like the Residential Energy Tax Credit (RETC) (set to expire at the end of 2017) and Property Tax Exemption (also set to expire end of 2017). While the Oregon solar industry is growing, it isn’t quite ready to stand alone without support.

The Oregon SolarPAC has been busy across Oregon raising and dispensing of funds. While fundraising has been slower than hoped for, the funds raised thus far have been put to good use, and many of our members can testify to that!

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Policy Update: A Little Bit of a Lot


Well, it’s official. Summer’s over, fall’s here, kids have been back to school for a few weeks and the campaign season is moving headlong toward Election Day. That means there’s a lot going on. Usually, these policy updates focus on one or two key items but this one will touch on several important points that are all happening at once- developing a 2017 Legislative Agenda, organizing the Oregon SolarPAC, developing the Oregon Solar Business Plan, keeping up with PUC activities, and more.

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The Power in Political Giving

Although organized political giving is new for Oregon’s solar industry, it has long been standard practice for many, if not most, other Oregon professional trade organizations and businesses to lobby the legislature. Here’s a sampling of several other groups’ political giving to Oregon candidates and campaigns during the 2013-14 election cycle:

POLITICAL GIVING IN THE 2013-2014 ELECTION CYCLE

UTILITIES:

  • Portland General Electric: $383,119
  • PacifiCorps: $179,870
  • NW Natural Gas: $310,559
  • Idaho Power: $23,975

TRADE GROUPS

  • Oregon Business Association: $105,962
  • Associated Oregon Industries: $540,112

(Source: Oregon Secretary of State’s ORESTAR Database)

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OSEIA Meets with Governor Kate Brown


On Tuesday, July 19th through our newly formed Oregon SolarPAC, OSEIA met with Oregon's Governor Kate Brown to discuss the importance of clean energy, especially solar energy. Joined by a consortium of renewable energy stakeholders at the Vestas offices in NW Portland, the solar industry comprised of at least 30% of all those in attendance.


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Oregon SolarPAC Needs Your Support!!!


The Oregon SolarPAC is one of the solar industry's most valuable asset for influencing pro solar policy in Oregon. You can set up your business to do a monthly, automatic, recurring payment of just $50 per month and make a HUGE difference!!!

A Stark Reminder of the Need to Educate Policymakers

The news that Governor Brown publicly proposed ending Oregon's RETC program sent shockwaves through our solar industry last week-- and for a good reason. The RETC program has been run responsibly by Oregon's Dept. of Energy, is functioning well, and is no less than crucial to our solar industry. OSEIA seeks to tell RETC's story every time we meet with policymakers. But often those opportunities occur during brief lobby meetings about pending legislation when the legislature is in session. To increase the number of policymakers who truly understand solar, OSEIA needs to expand the opportunities it has to meet and build relationships with policymakers, ideally outside the time frame of the hectic legislative session. Ultimately, our goal is for the solar industry to build legislative champions to advance the widespread adoption of solar energy in Oregon.

We have work to do! You can help in two ways:
  1. Support our effort to educate policymakers-- contribute to Oregon SolarPAC today.
  2. Help us educate the Governor about RETC by telling us how RETC is important to your business. Please email jeff@oseia.org your story by July 10.
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"No bill moves in the legislature without a champion, after 32 years I’m convinced of that."


That’s what Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney said to me recently (paraphrased) while describing the 2007 bill to amend Oregon’s famous and aging Bottle Bill. In 2007 the legislature amended the Bottle Bill to include water bottles--nearly 20 years after bottled water became popular. Why twenty years later? At least partially, according to the Senate President, because 2007 was when a single Senator made reforming the bottle bill their top priority. That legislator was the issue’s champion.

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​“Amp Up” Solar’s Political Voice!


6.10.16 - OSEIA has started the Oregon SolarPAC as a way to strengthen solar’s political voice in Oregon. While OSEIA and many solar advocates have been involved in the legislative process, pushing the solar agenda, we will be much more effective if we can start policy conversations with decision-makers during the campaign season before the legislative session starts. We can also begin to identify and support policymakers who are or become solar champions.

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OSEIA Works to Amplify Political Voice


Earlier this month, OSEIA launched Oregon SolarPAC to begin to create a political arm for the solar industry.

What does a political action committee allow OSEIA to do? We can have conversations with candidates for public office while they are running and before the hectic pace of a legislative session starts. We can also make campaign contributions to support candidates for office, especially if we believe they are going to be strong supporters of good solar policy.

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Ready to advance your career in Oregon’s solar industry?
Ready to advance your career in Oregon’s solar industry?

Support the Oregon SolarPAC!!!

OSEIA has started a political action committee to increase our voice and influence with our decision makers in Salem. Your donation to the Oregon SolarPAC helps expand OSEIA’s capacity to develop a marketplace for the widespread adoption of solar energy in Oregon. More information>

© 2016 OREGON SOLAR ENERGY INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION