Making Oregon a Clean Energy Leader: Renew Oregon

It’s an exciting time for those who care about cleaner energy and healthier communities. In 2016 OEC took major initiative to make Oregon a leader in transitioning from dirty, polluting energy to a clean energy economy: we helped found Renew Oregon. Renew Oregon is the most powerful coalition ever assembled in our state to fight for climate protection.

Thanks to the continued support of our members, we are helping steer the Renew Oregon campaign to climate victory, starting with the passage of the Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Act, a first-of-its-kind law to transition off of polluting coal-fired power while simultaneously DOUBLING the state’s commitment to clean electricity — like solar and wind — to 50% new, renewable energy by 2040.

Here’s our TOP TEN LIST of what’s to love about the Clean Electricity and Coal Transition bill:

  1. A mountain of carbon reductions. The carbon reductions from this bill are real, measurable and substantial. The two utilities estimate (very conservatively, we might add) that the policy will reduce Oregon’s carbon pollution by 30 million metric tons. That’s the equivalent of taking 6.4 MILLION cars off the road.
  2. Say goodbye to coal: Closing off a statewide market for coal power will put major market pressure on more than 20 coal plants in the region. It also makes Oregon the first state with a legislative policy to go coal-free.
  3. Oregon leading, big time: 50% renewable energy + existing hydropower = Oregon will have one of the cleanest electricity grids on the planet. ‘Nuf said.
  4. Good news for ratepayers: Wind and solar costs have dropped dramatically in just the last six years – by 60 percent and 80 percent, respectively – and they keep coming down. Research by Renewable Northwest shows this bill will have minimal rate impact in the short term and likely rate savings long term.
  5. Skip the gas station, I’m all charged up: Transitioning to electric vehicles is one of the most important things we can do to address climate change. This bill helps expand the charging infrastructure that our state needs for electric vehicles.
  6. Community solar: The bill includes an innovative program so people can get access to solar energy even if they can’t put solar panels up on the place where they live.
  7. Republicans and Democrats, oh my: This bill passed the Oregon House twice with significant bipartisan support.
  8. It’s wildly popular: Seven out of ten Oregon voters wanted the legislature to pass this bill.
  9. Jobs, jobs, jobs: Renewable energy in Oregon has already brought $9.8 billion in investments and more than 5,300 jobs to our state. By doubling our state’s commitment to renewable energy we’re building on this success, particularly in rural Oregon where wind and solar projects are waiting begin construction.
  10.  The Oregon way: This legislation was proposed by an unusual group of environmentalists, clean energy job creators, ratepayer advocates and electric utilities. The idea that opposing parties can sit down and hash out their differences is the things should be done in Oregon. It’s an example of the Oregon way.

When combined with our legacy of hydropower, Oregon’s electricity mix will be more than 80% clean and renewable — some of the cleanest in the nation! Read more about how we got to this victory and sign up for OEC’s Grassroots Action and Information Network to be alerted to timely ways that you can help us act on climate.

We’re proud of what we’ve achieved, but know we’ve got a long ways to go! It will take a host of investments, laws and strategies to transition Oregon to a clean energy economy. There’s many pieces to the puzzle. Will you join us as we continue the fight? Sign the Renew Oregon pledge!

 


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