Initiative would recognize hydropower as renewable

Rep. Greg Smith

by Mitch Lies, Capital Press

One down, 87,212 to go.  Rep. Greg Smith, R-Heppner, has kicked off a petition drive to place an initiative before voters that calls for the state to recognize hydropower as a renewable energy source.

Petition supporters need to submit 87,213 valid signatures to the Secretary of State by July 3, 2014, for the initiative to qualify for the November 2014 ballot.

In a small ceremony in his office at the Capitol May 23, Smith was the first to sign the petition.

State law requires large utilities to generate 25 percent of their energy from renewable resources by the year 2025. Hydropower facilities in operation prior to Jan. 1, 1995, are not classified as renewable energy. Only new hydropower facilities, wind, solar and geothermal meet the renewable energy classification.

h/t Oregonians for Food and Shelter