Governor signs bill to preserve Oregon's RPS

Salem, Ore.—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.

Said Rachel Shimshak, executive director of Renewable Northwest, “Oregon’s Renewable Standard is a potent policy that helps lower our carbon footprint while substantially benefitting the state’s economy and environment. We are pleased that the diverse stakeholder group found an outcome that addresses everyone’s concerns while preserving the integrity of the state’s renewable energy goals.”

HB 4126 will provide small electric utilities in the state a bit more flexibility towards meeting the RPS. It also authorizes the Oregon Public Utility Commission to study a green tariff that could allow utilities to offer green power options directly to large customers. The ballot measure has subsequently been withdrawn.

Added Varner Seaman, policy director for Renewable Northwest who participated in the Governor’s task force, “We’re not debating whether or not renewable energy is a good idea anymore; instead we’re talking about how best to offer more renewable energy and increase Oregon’s competiveness. Everyone involved in this process agrees that renewable energy plays a critical role in Oregon’s clean energy future.”

Renewable Northwest is a regional nonprofit advocacy organization promoting responsible development of renewable energy resources in the Pacific Northwest. For more information, please visit

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Amy Baird