Clean Energy, Jobs and Valid Concerns

Alan DeBoer

Hello Friends,

I’ve been hearing a lot from constituents about Senate Bill 557, which proponents are calling the “Clean Energy and Jobs Bill.” Many people are on both sides of this issue here in our district. Some want me to take a strong stance against the proposal and others want me to take an equally strong stance supporting it.

I was elected to represent this district, and everyone’s opinion matters to me. I’ve learned that if you’re hearing from both sides of an issue, you may be on to something.  


ADB and Winters

At this point, SB 557 is in the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee. I will follow its progress as my colleagues debate the issue and receive testimony.

I believe every decision we make should be made with consideration as to how it affects our environment, livability and how it will benefit our lives. But I also have some serious concerns about this bill.

Similar stated intentions led to the creation of the Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) program, which later became the source of much controversy. 

Above: I learn a lot from talking to colleagues like Sen. Jackie Winters (R-Salem), who has served in the Senate since 2003. 

Below: Governor Brown invited me to her office to discuss my priorities for the session and issues of importance to the residents of Jackson County. 

An audit of that program released last year detailed a series of issues that are worthy of consideration. Chief among them was that the agencies charged with administering the program failed to perform any control or risk analysis of the program, which cost Oregon taxpayers around $1 billion.


ADB and Brown

Auditors found circumstantial evidence of suspicious activity on at least 75 BETC transactions totaling over $300 million that were later referred to the Oregon Department of Justice for further investigation. Projects were approved for tax credits for businesses that later filed for bankruptcy or went out of business. There was also evidence uncovered in the audit of potential conflicts of interest among persons on various task forces established through these policies and programs.

More recently, an article was published discussing an ongoing fraud case related to the BETC program.

The money that went toward questionable projects could have gone to reducing class sizes in our schools, fixing our roads and other infrastructure, providing health care to our neediest citizens and public safety. It’s important that we learn from these past mistakes and try not to repeat them.

Legislation is a deliberative process, and for good reason. The laws, programs and policies that we pass must be well thought out and vetted before they affect every person in this state. I will continue to be mindful of those potential consequences when voting on the bills that come before me while representing the people of Senate District 3.

Yours truly,

Sen. Alan DeBoer

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1703
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, S-421, Salem, Oregon 97301

ADB and constituents

Above and below: I always enjoy meeting with constituents when they come visit the Capitol.