Oregon’s chance to make history
Oregon has long been a leader in innovation -- from the bottle bill to the world’s greatest athletic shoes. To continue our leadership it’s time to transition Oregon off dirty, polluting coal power to clean energy, create good paying jobs, protect our health and climate, and make Oregon a leader in renewable energy innovation.
It’s alarming that one-third of the electricity in our state still comes from burning coal -- Pacific Power gets more than two-thirds from coal. Renew Oregon Action Fund has filed ballot measures that will allow Oregonians to be the first in the nation to go coal free by public vote. The transition will be complete by 2030.
To ensure the new electrical power is clean and healthy, the measures will also double the amount of energy from renewables, like wind and solar, in Oregon by 2040. This will allow Oregon to remain a leader in the clean energy economy, creating good paying jobs with benefits that can support families. From making solar panels to energy efficient construction -- this 21st century economy has opportunities for all Oregonians. We’ll need more engineers, designers, salespeople, construction and manufacturing workers, administrative staff and custodians. All the people needed to run successful companies.
And careful research shows clearly that transitioning to clean, renewable energy will save money for ratepayers over the long run. In fact, these measures would reduce Oregon electricity rates by as much as 5% over the life of the policy.
If Oregon transitions off coal, the state would be part of a national trend. Hawaii is already transitioning toward 100 percent renewable energy. California has plans to move to 50 percent renewables. Colorado, New York and Vermont have similar plans, and three US cities have already completely transitioned to renewables. Even China’s coal boom is grinding to a halt.
When you combine this shift with our existing hydropower capacity, Oregon will be on track to have more than 80% renewable energy in total. Currently, less than 10% of our electricity comes from renewable sources like wind and solar.
The filing of these ballot measure comes at a time when climate pollution is increasingly impacting Oregonians’ lives. This winter had record-low snowpacks. During the summer, 25 of Oregon’s 36 counties were in drought emergencies. The fire season was the second worst on record.
There are so many reasons why the transition to a clean energy economy matters for Oregon. Whether you’re passionate about acting on climate change, thinking of your children or grandchildren, have asthma, or simply love to ski, there is room for you at the ever-expanding Renew Oregon table.
Together, we can help Oregon transition to a clean energy economy while creating good-paying jobs, and safeguarding a future that will benefit all Oregonians – today and for generations to come. Click here if you want to join us at our next event in Portland or click here if you want to receive a petition in the mail to sign and circulate.