Nonprofit Newswire | Trucking Deal Fuels Investigation into Oregon Nonprofit

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February 22, 2010; The Oregonian | Officials are fuming over allegations that an Oregon-based nonprofit that promotes green energy helped a Texas trucking company win millions of dollars of tax credits to cut its fuel consumption but so far has failed to return any benefits to the state or its residents. Alerted to the situation by an investigation by The Oregonian, state officials are looking into how Cascade Sierra Solution, an Oregon-based nonprofit that showcases fuel-saving technologies eligible for tax subsidies, helped Melissa Valley Transportation, which operates out of El Paso, Texas and Las Cruces, N.M., receive tax credits worth $4.5 million. The newspaper reports that the money was used to equip the company’s truck fleet “with the latest fuel-saving technology under Oregon’s Business Energy Tax Credit program.” The paper adds that tax credits are meant for trucking companies “that provide jobs in Oregon, generate ‘substantial energy savings’ and drive on state roads.” The Oregonian’s investigation found that Melissa Valley Transportation trucks run less than one percent of their miles on Oregon roads. At the request of the Oregon Department of Energy, the state’s attorney general’s office is looking into the activities of both the trucking company and the Oregon nonprofit.—Bruce Trachtenberg