Oregon Says Goodbye Coal, Hello Clean Energy Future
Today is an exciting day for clean energy! Oregon just became the first state EVER to pass legislation to transition off of coal-fired power. This is the first major victory for renewable energy following the Paris climate talks.
The fact that coal makes up 30 percent of Oregon’s energy mix is not widely known. Throughout this process we’ve had conversations with Oregonians from all across the state, many of whom were surprised and disheartened to learn that Oregon ratepayers continue to pay for coal electricity and most of it coming from burning coal out of state. But now, thanks to the Clean Electricity and Coal Transition bill, Oregon will transition off of coal-fired power completely by 2030.
So where will this new electricity come from? Clean renewable energy, such as wind and solar, will replace the coal we’re kissing goodbye. In fact, because of this bill, Oregon will double its renewable energy use by 2040, become one of the cleanest powered states and create a brand-new community solar program. This bill also scales up electric vehicle infrastructure — another key strategy for combating climate change and improving local air quality. This move makes Oregon a leader in the clean energy movement, having created a model that other states can follow to do the same.
We’d like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the bipartisan group of lawmakers who demonstrated a steadfast commitment to the bill, particularly Representatives Jessica Vega Pederson and Mark Johnson, as well as Senator Beyer, who all helped carry this bill. We’d also like to thank the numerous businesses that supported this proposal – from the clean energy industry to the utilities themselves, a variety of business voices came to the table to craft legislation for a coal free Oregon. We also want to thank the Citizens’ Utility Board, Climate Solutions, Renewable Northwest, Sierra Club, Northwest Energy Coalition, NRDC and Union of Concerned Scientists for your incredible partnership in getting this bill across the finishing line.
By working together, all of these individuals illustrate that acting on climate is not a partisan issue; it’s an issue we can tackle collectively to protect the Oregon we love. The passage of this bill is a monumental step forward for climate progress, clean energy jobs, and clean air. Congratulations, Oregon, for saying yes to a clean energy future! Other states, please join us!