Access to the low-interest, fixed-rate Small Scale Energy Loan Program (SELP) will expand to include equipment, such as forestry equipment used to process wood into fuel.

“This expansion rides on the momentum of Oregon’s growing green jobs movement while preparing us for an even more vibrant future,” said Senator Vicki Walker (D-Eugene), who carried HB 2182 to the Senate floor. “The greater access we give to entrepreneurs to develop the technologies of the future, the better poised Oregon will be to reap the rewards.”

HB 3300 defines green jobs as those in industries that focus on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and improving the natural environment. It also directs the state government to develop a Green Jobs Growth Initiative for promoting family-wage green jobs in Oregon by the 2010 Legislative session. The initiative is funded by $150,000 from the federal Workforce Investment Act.

“To a significant degree, Oregon’s economic future will be determined by how we can best promote green jobs,” said Senator Rod Monroe (D-Portland), who carried HB 3300 to the floor. “We need to have a long-term view to ensure that Oregon stays competitive in promoting green industries and that those industries are able to thrive.”

HB 3300 was introduced by into the House of Representatives by Representatives David Edwards (D-Hillsboro), Ben Cannon (D-Portland) and Tobias Read (D-Beaverton). HB 2182 was brought to the floor in the House of Representatives by Representative Bob Jenson (R-Pendleton). Both bills will now go to the Governor for his signature.