Oregon: Coalition member groups work to close Boardman coal plant

Coalition member groups work

to close Boardman coal plant

Several Coalition member groups filed joint and/or separate comments with the Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) and Department of Environmental Quality on proposals for early closure of Portland General Electric’s Boardman coal plant. Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign seeks a 2015 closure; the utility – also a Coalition member – has proposed ending Boardman’s coal-fired production in 2020 if regulators are flexible in enforcing certain upcoming environmental requirements. Otherwise, PGE might opt to try keeping the plant running until 2040.

PacificCorp has asked the PUC to rule on the sale of renewable energy credits (RECs) that count toward meeting the state’s renewable energy portfolio standard.

Meanwhile, the PUC is developing a smart grid plan and a set of action items to be completed over the next five years. The PUC planned to open a proceeding to determine the process in October.

The Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council responded favorably to the Energy Trust’s proposal to list CO2 offset projects that include reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases other than carbon.

NW Energy Coalition’s Oregon Caucus met recently. The well-attended session focused on NWEC’s upcoming NW Clean & Affordable Energy Conference, set for Nov. 12-13 at Portland’s Red Lion Hotel, on the Boardman coal plant and on the upcoming legislative session. Legislators have expressed concern about misuse of business (BETC) and residential (RETC) energy tax credit programs. Advocates are working to save the best parts of the tax credit programs and fix the parts subject to abuse.

Jeff Hammarlund, Oregon Caucus chair

Read the Washington State report for more on the efforts to get the Northwest off coal.