Monday, April 11, 2016

In Oregon: Clean Energy 1, Coal 0

Oregon’s Groundbreaking Clean Energy Bill

The plan will have national implications and adds to the growing momentum to address climate change

POSTED ON APR 5 2016 BY NOAH LONG, Green Building Advisor

Noah Long is a senior attorney in the NRDC's energy program.

The historic clean energy law that passed Oregon's Legislature with bipartisan support this month will have regional, national, and international implications.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown's ceremonial signing of the state's pioneering Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Act at an elementary school that recently installed solar panels was both symbolic and appropriate. The new clean energy law helps address the greatest environmental threat of our time and protect future generations from the worst effects of climate change.

Oregon becomes the first state in the nation to legislate an end to the use of coal-fired electricity, with a deadline of no later than 2035. The law also requires that at least half of the electricity supplied by the state's largest utilities — Pacific Power and Portland General Electric, which together serve 70 percent of Oregon's electricity needs — come from new renewable sources such as solar and wind power.

And it directs those utilities to speed the deployment of charging stations for emissions-free electric vehicles. Plugging electric vehicles into renewable energy will help cut emissions from the transportation sector, which is Oregon's largest source of carbon pollution.

(Read more here.)

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