Statement of NW Energy Coalition and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) regarding Puget Sound Energy’s “Beyond Net Zero Carbon Goal.”

January 21, 2021

Earlier today, Puget Sound Energy (PSE) released a statement that it is committed to an aspirational goal of being beyond net zero carbon by 2045 across its entire business.  The commitment outlines near-term goals, including:

  • Reducing emissions from PSE electric and gas operations and electric supply to net zero by 2030
  • An interim target to reduce emissions related to natural gas sales for customer direct uses by 30% by 2030
  • To electrify most of the PSE fleet by 2030 and use low carbon fuels for the remaining vehicles
  • Work with customers and industry to help reduce emissions across sectors

NWEC and NRDC welcome PSE’s acknowledgment of the need for action to decarbonize the company’s electric generating resources, fossil gas system, and overall business operations. We call on PSE to ensure that early and substantial reductions are made as a necessary down payment on a 2045 zero emissions goal.  We look forward to reviewing the released PSE White Paper for additional details.

PSE has lots of work to do to ensure that all of its customers and communities have access to and benefit from the transition to a clean energy future. It is clear that the greatest challenge for PSE will be to lower emissions from the fossil gas distribution system and to work directly with customers that use fossil gas in their homes, buildings, and industry to switch to lower carbon alternatives and electricity while maintaining safe and reliable service. This challenge is also an opportunity for the Company to innovate and further engage customers. We are excited by this opportunity and ready to collaborate and support this work.

“The urgency of the climate crisis requires proactive commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address the grave inequities in our energy system. This pledge is an important acknowledgement of the need to systematically take steps across PSE’s business to reduce emissions,” said Nancy Hirsh Executive Director of the NW Energy Coalition. “We are ready to work with the Company as they roll up their sleeves to turn this high-level pledge into specific and immediate changes within operations, planning, and policy that deliver clear benefits to all PSE customers, particularly the most vulnerable among us. We appreciate CEO Mary Kipp, for driving new thinking and repositioning the Company to help Washington meet its climate goals,” said Hirsh.

“Washington State, and the rest of America, will need fully committed utility partners to eliminate carbon pollution without jeopardizing affordable and reliable energy services. We are joining NWEC and others to help make sure that PSE reaches its goals as quickly as possible,” said Ralph Cavanagh, Energy Co-Director for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

We expect that PSE will pursue immediate and near-term actions to reduce emissions while also working with communities and other stakeholders to advance the significant policy and regulatory changes that are necessary to facilitate getting to the Company’s 2045 goals. A matching level of commitment by government and business to reducing greenhouse gas emissions needs to be replicated in other sectors of Washington’s economy, particularly in transportation.

For further information or questions please contact Paty Rincon, NWEC Communications Manager at pa******@nw******.org or 206-621-0094 and press 1 for media.