Clean tech: the key for revival

Oregon is stepping up efforts to attract clean-tech companies to improve its economy.

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As its computer-manufacturing and timber industries take a hit, Oregon is reaching out to clean-tech companies with aggressive incentives.

The Oregon Business Development Department’s network of about 45 economic-development officials has more than doubled the time spent reaching out to clean-tech companies since 2008, said Bruce Laird, clean-tech recruitment officer in the department. In February, Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski assembled a group of industry leaders to help the state compete for federal stimulus dollars for clean-tech projects. And this month, he vetoed legislation that would have reduced tax breaks for clean-energy companies.

The endeavors come as Oregon tries to repair its battered economy. With declines in its key computer-manufacturing and timber industries, the state’s 11.9% unemployment rate in July trailed only Michigan, Nevada and Rhode Island. In June, the state slashed its 2009-11 budget by $3.2 billion, or nearly 20%. Capturing clean tech is “viewed as essential for Oregon’s economic recovery,” Mr. Laird said.

Read the full story at The Wall Street Journal.

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