A bill requiring electricity suppliers to provide 100% clean power to customers in Oregon by 2040 was passed Saturday by both the House and Senate of the Oregon State Legislative Assembly. If the policy is signed by Governor Kate Brown, Oregon will become the eighth state in the United States with a legal obligation to 100% clean or renewable electricity, joining Hawaii, California, Washington, New Mexico, New York, Maine, and Virginia . With this act, Oregon will also boast the fastest timeline in the country to achieve this goal. The bill’s approval follows years of advocacy by a broad coalition of stakeholders and organizations, including Environment Oregon, for a clean and renewable future for Oregon.
The policy sets targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with electricity sold in Oregon compared to a 2010 baseline. Legislation includes requirements for 80% emissions reductions in the sector by 2030, 90% by 2035 and ultimately 100 % by 2040. Since Oregon power emissions have not increased and have actually fallen since 2010, the bill will, in effect, have to be in the state for zero-emission electricity by 2040. Given the state’s existing renewable energy standard and existing hydropower generation capacity, renewables will provide the bulk of the new zero-emission electricity target.
“The Oregon Legislature has taken a critical step toward a cleaner, healthier future for the people of Oregon — and for all Americans — by passing on this commitment to a clean and renewable future,” said Emma Searson, executive director. of Environment America’s 100% renewable campaign, in a statement. “Achieving the clean electricity goals set forth in this bill, in addition to the state’s existing renewable electricity goals, will protect the health and safety of every Oregonian. And this new notch in the belt of the rural movement is further proof that the will and momentum we need to transform our energy system for the better is growing in communities from coast to coast. If this commitment is signed into law, Americans from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine — and so many cities and states in between — will be able to see clean energy replace polluting energy sources in their communities for decades to come.”
News from Environment America