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Kitzhaber: Sunrise for natural resource industries

Oregon Business Magazine scored an interview with governor-elect John Kitzhaber, who made a case for creating new markets for wood products and looking forward – not back – to build the next generation of natural resource industries:

“…we still haven’t recognized that our natural resource industries can be sunrise industries not sunset industries. But we have to take advantage of the future not the past. We’re not going to go back to harvesting old-growth trees. We need to create new markets for wood products. Going forward we need to continue to support the traded-sector industries we have, but we need to capitalize on our natural advantages in environmental technologies — whether that’s green building or green chemistry or environmental management — and create a new set of traded-sector industries that are more knowledge-based.”

Kitzhaber also explained why putting a price on carbon would create opportunities for Oregon. Sooner or later, he said, it will happen, and Oregon is well positioned to take advantage of it:

“…  7% of the wood used in green buildings is Oregon wood, even though we have a nationally renowned green-building sector. If you did some carbon accounting and let that count for LEED certification, you would have a much lower carbon footprint bringing in wood from Coos Bay rather than from New Zealand. Maybe we can create a LEED-O version of incentives specific to Oregon.”

Green building Green technology John Kitzhaber

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