Oregon is taking a big step forward with renewable energyMarch 22, 2016
Governor Brown passes the Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Plan
Oregon has become the first state in the United States to legislate its way away from coal and other fossil-fuels. Governor Kate Brown has signed the Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Plan, a legislation that has more than a year of political debate and controversy behind it. The legislation aims to accomplish numerous goals, namely the transition away from fossil-fuels and the adoption of various forms of renewable energy.
Legislation will require utilities to abandon coal in favor of renewable energy
The legislation instructs the state’s largest utilities, Pacific Power and Portland General Electric, to eliminate coal from their portfolios by 2030. The utilities are also required to generate no less than 50% of their electrical power from renewable energy by 2040. Before the Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Plan was signed into law, the two utilities only had to generate 25% of their electrical power from renewable sources by 2025. Both Pacific Power and Portland General Electric currently account for 70% of the state’s total energy production.
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Oregon is among the most aggressive states when it comes to embracing clean power
There are only four other states in the country that have a more ambitious renewable energy goal than Oregon. Hawaii is one such state, which aims to completely abandon coal and rely exclusively on renewable energy by 2045. Oregon has already made significant progress in becoming energy sustainable over the past few years. Approximately 40% of the state’s energy comes from hydropower. The state is also investing in other forms of clean power, namely solar energy, which has the potential to severely reduce Oregon’s reliance on coal.
Oregon may aid the federal government in its fight against climate change
Oregon has entered into the fight against climate change with an ambitious initiative that could make it a leading force in the renewable energy space. Embracing clean power and abandoning coal is likely to reduce emissions produced by the state by a considerable margin. This may augment the U.S. government’s ability to become more environmentally friendly as a whole.