Funding for rural renewable energy project slashed

The Rural Energy for America Program, funding slashed for the upcoming year. Looking to 2012, “We’re going to be hit pretty hard,” said Don Hollis, a Pendleton-based renewable energy coordinator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “We’re not going to fund anywhere near as many projects.”

Hollis said he wasn’t certain how much the funding in the program would be reduced by — the federal offices have yet to make allocations to state programs — but the entire national program received only $22 million this year, compared with $70 million in 2011. Oregon’s program cuts will likely be proportional, and the state is likely to see about 69 percent less funding than in years past.

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