Mar 02, 2016
We did it, Oregon! We're on our way to being rid of power from polluting coal and we're building a clean energy economy.
The Clean Electricity and Coal Transition bill makes Oregon the first state in the nation with legislation to go coal-free. And it is the first state-level renewable energy victory following the Paris climate agreement.
The bill has a lot of great stuff built in and will have historic effect on cutting climate pollution in Oregon and helping our state shift to a clean energy economy.
Here's our TOP TEN LIST of what's to love about the Clean Electricity and Coal Transition bill:
- A mountain of carbon reductions. The carbon reductions from this bill are real, measurable and substantial. The two utilities estimate (very conservatively, we might add) that the policy will reduce Oregon's carbon pollution by 30 million metric tons. That's the equivalent of taking 6.4 MILLION cars off the road.
- Say goodbye to coal: Closing off a statewide market for coal power will put major market pressure on more than 20 coal plants in the region. It also makes Oregon the first state with a legislative policy to go coal-free.
- Oregon leading, big time: 50% renewable energy + existing hydropower = Oregon will have one of the cleanest electricity grids on the planet. ‘Nuf said.
- Good news for ratepayers: Wind and solar costs have dropped dramatically in just the last six years – by 60 percent and 80 percent, respectively – and they keep coming down. Research by Renewable Northwest shows this bill will have minimal rate impact in the short term and likely rate savings long term.
- Skip the gas station, I'm all charged up: Transitioning to electric vehicles is one of the most important things we can do to address climate change. This bill helps expand the charging infrastructure that our state needs for electric vehicles.
- Community solar: The bill includes an innovative program so people can get access to solar energy even if they can’t put solar panels up on the place where they live.
- Republicans and Democrats, oh my: This bill passed the Oregon House twice with significant bipartisan support.
- It’s wildly popular: Seven out of ten Oregon voters wanted the legislature to pass this bill.
- Jobs, jobs, jobs: Renewable energy in Oregon has already brought $9.8 billion in investments and more than 5,300 jobs to our state. By doubling our state’s commitment to renewable energy we're building on this success, particularly in rural Oregon where wind and solar projects are waiting begin construction.
- The Oregon way: This legislation was proposed by an unusual group of environmentalists, clean energy job creators, ratepayer advocates and electric utilities. The idea that opposing parties can sit down and hash out their differences is the things should be done in Oregon. It’s an example of the Oregon way.