The NW Energy Coalition and several of its members and allies have joined with Pacific Power and member utility Portland General Electric in designing legislation to stop Oregon energy consumers from paying for coal-fired power and to double the state’s 25% renewable portfolio standard for investor-owned utilities. This compromise represents a significant step forward for cleaner electric power and for carbon emissions reductions in Oregon.
HB 4036 — The Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Plan — is tentatively scheduled for a hearing in the House Energy and Environment Committee next week. Check the schedule here for updates.
Clean and affordable energy advocates should urge their state legislators, especially members of the House Energy and Environment Committee, to support HB 4036 to help meet the state’s carbon emissions reduction goals. (To find your legislators, go here.)
Through passage of HB 4036:
- PGE and Pacific Power customers in Oregon will stop paying for coal-fired power by 2030, with the exception of PGE’s minority share of Colstrip power, which the utility may continue to rate-base until 2035, if necessary.
- The state’s RPS will rise in steps to 50% by 2040. The increase will apply only to investor-owned utilities; publicly owned utilities will not be affected. The 4% cap for the difference in cost between new renewables and other new resource options will remain in effect, along with other new provisions to protect customers.
- The bill affirms that cost-effective energy efficiency and demand response must be pursued before acquiring new generating resources.
- The two IOUs will establish a community solar program, directing 15% of its capacity to low-income residents.
- Transportation electrification will be advanced.
According to a study by Oregon Global Warming Commission chair Angus Duncan, the Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Plan would cut Oregon’s electric sector carbon emissions in half by 2030.
Analyses by Pacific Power and Renewable Northwest find that achieving these dramatic reductions would raise rates by no more than 1% and could even reduce them by more than 2%. These estimates reflect falling prices for renewables and the fact that renewable resources protect customers from volatile fuel prices.
PGE says the legislation could raise average rates about 1.5% compared to taking no action to reduce carbon emissions beyond what’s already required by state and federal law.
The bottom line: HB 4036 is a good compromise that makes significant progress toward a clean energy future.
Please contact your legislators and tell them to pass HB 4036 as written.
The NW Energy Coalition, Citizens’ Utility Board of Oregon, Climate Solutions, Oregon Environmental Council, Oregon League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council, Pacific Power, Portland General Electric, Renewable Northwest and Sierra Club worked together to fashion a common solution to start weaning Oregonians off of coal power and to advance our low-carbon, clean energy economy.
Let’s make sure our legislators understand the necessity of passing HB 4036. Along with stronger energy efficiency policies moving forward, HB 4036 marks an important step toward Oregon’s clean and affordable energy future.
Contact your legislators now!
For more information:
Contact NW Energy Coalition policy director Wendy Gerlitz at we***@nw******.org.
Check out this fact sheet from the allied groups.
Find and read the bill here (choose “House Bills,” then “HB 4000-4099” and scroll down to HB 4036).