Conservation groups, tribes, fishing groups and the state of Oregon are taking the federal government to court again because its Biological Opinion (BiOp), regarding Columbia River hydro operations, inadequately address the needs of the river’s 13 endangered salmon species. Despite previous rulings in the plaintiff’s favor, the federal government has delayed making court-ordered improvements to the BiOp.
By Region: Oregon
Oregonian article: Carbon limits and skeptical regulators force new scrutiny of PacifiCorp coal plant investments
The Oregon Public Utility Commission has concerns regarding PacifiCorps’ continued investments in coal-fired power plants. Regulators insist that the company should consider climate regulations and explore clean energy alternatives in the next iteration of its long-term resource plan.
Thirty-one community action agencies, clean energy businesses, environmental advocates and other public-interest groups have joined the NW Energy Coalition in urging the Bonneville Power Administration to improve energy efficiency services to low-income families. BPA can help its customer utilities better serve their low-income populations by providing energy efficiency programs that will lower their bills and reduce shut-offs.
NWEC IPR Comments 7.15.2014
NEEA board adopts new 5-year strategic plan with lean budget, leaving long-term energy savings at risk
Despite hundreds of individual comments and letters, the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance board has decided to stick with a budget almost 30% percent below the previous 5-year budget. The NW Energy Coalition and other clean energy advocates will work to ensure that NEEA maintains its effectiveness and helps the region achieve all the cost-effective energy efficiency we can get to reduce climate pollution and consumers’ bills. This is not the time to retreat on energy efficiency, our cheapest, cleanest and quickest new energy resource.
Federal agencies squander chance for progress on Northwest salmon survival, send region back to court
Yesterday, 13 conservation and fishing groups filed a legal challenge of the latest federal plan for endangered Columbia and Snake River salmon. The organizations assert that the Obama administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) failed to address the core issues that triggered federal-court rejection of three previous plans, forcing another round of litigation just as momentum is building in the Northwest for a broadly supported stakeholder collaboration as an alternative to the courtroom.
Clean and affordable energy advocates sent a group letter to the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance board expressing concerns with the depth of proposed budget cuts. Earlier versions of NEEA’s budget and business plan were more consistent with the mission and goals of the organization and did not undercut the organization’s integrity.
NW Energy Coalition and 29 other clean energy advocacy organizations and businesses submitted a group letter to the Bonneville Power Administration April 11, urging the agency to adequately fund energy efficiency it its FY 2016-2017 capital budget. The letter expressed concern that the proposed budget is inadequate to meet BPA’s legal obligations or to pursue the best interests of the region.
Today Governor John Kitzhaber signed HB 4126 to preserve Oregon’s highly successful Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). The bill is the result of a diverse stakeholder process convened by the Governor to address a ballot measure, which would have gutted the state’s RPS by allowing existing hydropower to count towards the standard. Renewable Northwest commends the Governor for his leadership in preserving the RPS, which has helped to bring over $9 billion of capital investment to Oregon as well as thousands of jobs and tax dollars to rural communities.
Bonneville Power recently released its proposed capital budget, but it has not yet finalized its expense budget for public review. Given what we’ve seen so far, BPA’s draft budgets for 2016-17 seriously underfund energy efficiency efforts, making achievement of the full power savings called for in the regional plan unlikely at best.