Oregon is leading the nation on a path to clean electricity!
In 2016, Oregon passed the Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Act, a first-of-its-kind law to transition off of polluting coal-fired power while simultaneously DOUBLING the state’s commitment to clean electricity -- like solar and wind -- to 50% new, renewable energy by 2040. When combined with our legacy of hydropower, Oregon’s electricity mix will be more than 80% clean and renewable -- some of the cleanest in the nation!
How We Got Here
Currently, about one-third of the electricity used in Oregon comes from burning coal. It’s unacceptable for our health and our climate.
While Oregon has a clean, green image -- the fight to transition our state off of dirty coal was a tough one. It wouldn’t have been possible without the leadership and support of the many members of the Renew Oregon coalition.
In 2015, there was an attempt in the legislature to make the transition, but it ran into serious obstacles -- including powerful corporate lobbyists and electric utility opposition. It stalled.
Knowing that Oregonians overwhelmingly wanted to make the change to clean energy, Renew Oregon filed ballot measures to achieve a transition off coal while doubling renewable energy in our state.
We were on our way to sending the issue to voters in November when the large electric utilities had a change of heart -- they could support a transition off coal and doubling renewable energy if we would work with them in the legislature instead of duking it out at the ballot.
Working hard with our Renew Oregon partners like Citizens’ Utility Board, Sierra Club, Oregon Environmental Council, Climate Solutions, Renewable Northwest, NRDC, Oregon League of Conservation Voters, Environment Oregon, and others -- along with the utilities and lawmakers -- the result was the Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Act! It passed in the 2016 legislative session.
What the New Law Does
Transitions Oregon’s largest utilities, Portland General Electric and Pacific Power off of coal-fired electricity by 2030.
Requires the two utilities to generate 50% of their electricity from clean sources like wind, solar and geothermal by 2040. Cuts Oregon’s electricity carbon footprint in HALF!
Puts our electricity sector on a path to meeting state greenhouse gas reduction goal of 75% below 1990 levels by 2050.
Establishes community solar choice program with guaranteed access to low-income families.
Encourages investment in more electric vehicle charging infrastructure – a crucial part of making it easier to switch to electric vehicles.
Commits utilities to maximizing energy efficiency.
Includes incentives for utilities to invest in renewable energy earlier rather than later.
Adds a new requirement that the big utilities acquire more energy from small, community-scale renewable projects creating more Oregon clean energy jobs.
Our new law was hailed by media all over the country, and the world:
We’re proud of that and we’re not done. It will take a host of investments, laws and strategies to transition Oregon to a clean energy economy. There’s many pieces to the puzzle. Will you join us as we continue the fight? Sign the Renew Oregon pledge!