Climate leaders in Oregon are at it again as the State Senate considers a bill that would redefine where residents source their energy. The bill would eliminate coal energy production by 2030 and would double the amount of renewable generation. These steps come after the state’s House already passed a version of the bill. The multi-sector nature of the new policy sets it apart from previous climate action plans.
The drafting of the new plan involved policy makers, environmental group representatives, and the state’s utilities. The power brokers developed an ambitious plan that will facilitate the state’s transition to clean energy—like solar, wind and hydro—and they have broad public support. With the support of the public, of politicians, energy companies, and environmentalists, climate action is at its strongest.
What is happening in Oregon provides an ambitious framework for other communities, cities and states to follow. To achieve bold climate goals, leaders must communicate about the benefits that climate action will bring to their residents: including new stable, well paying jobs, improved health and living standards, better and more efficient transportation networks and options, and decreased energy bills. When community leaders inspire residents, making change becomes possible. Find out how to lead in your city today, by joining with climate leaders at Path to Positive Communities!
A bill that would require Oregon’s two largest utilities to phase out coal completely by 2030, coupled with a requirement to double the state’s renewable energy mandate, is working its way through the state Senate after being passed by the House earlier this year. If successful, environmentalists argue that it could represent some of the strongest environmental legislation in the state — and across the country — in decades.
The bill, dubbed the Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Plan, passed through the Oregon House on February 15 by a vote of 39-20, and would require both PacifiCorp and Portland General Electric (PGE) — Oregon’s two largest, investor-owned utilities — to stop using coal in their energy mix by 2030. It would also require those utilities to provide at least 50 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2040. Currently, the state’s energy mandate requires utilities to provide 25 percent renewable energy by 2025.