NWEC Endorses Portland Clean Energy Initiative
After careful consideration and consultation with members, the NW Energy Coalition is proud to endorse Measure 26-201, the Portland Clean Energy Initiative (PCEI). The Coalition is united by a set of principles for a clean and affordable energy future and PCEI advances each of these goals: we seek to meet all new energy demand with energy efficiency and renewable resources, ensure full and fair accounting for the environmental effects of our energy system, forward low-income and consumer protections, and champion informed public involvement in our energy decisions.
While the Northwest has seen significant increases in energy efficiency and renewable energy, those clean energy advances have not sufficiently reached some communities and, particularly, communities experiencing lower incomes and communities of color. PCEI is designed to change that. It provides targeted strategies that center new energy investments in communities who have been underserved by energy programs and underrepresented in policy processes.
If passed, PCEI would create a 1% surcharge on large retail corporations who make over $1 billion a year in national revenue and $500,000 in Portland sales; the measure would raise about $30 million annually. Revenue would be available in the form of grants to non-profit entities to pursue energy efficiency and renewable energy projects and clean energy jobs training with an emphasis on increased access to generation, conservation, and workforce development in economically disadvantaged and historically underrepresented communities. PCEI will ensure that new energy investments in Portland are targeted to reduce energy burden, improve health impacts, and ensure that everyone can participate in clean energy solutions.
Our energy industry is poised for a transformation. PCEI will bring needed resources to make real advances toward a more equitable and affordable, clean energy future. It will take a strong alliance to move PCEI forward and ensure that implementation achieves its intended goals. The NW Energy Coalition hopes to support the leveraging of existing resources, partnering of organizations, and a shared vision of measureable outcomes to ensure the successful implementation of PCEI. The Coalition encourages its members to pledge their support for PCEI and to stand behind this important work. In turn, we are at the ready to offer our technical expertise to forward community-led clean energy solutions.