Oregon is on its way to becoming the US State with the cleanest energy, as Governor Kate Brown has signed a clean energy bill, which, if successful, will put Oregon on the track towards 100 percent clean electricity sources.
Cutting Back on Emissions
As per the legislation, a whole timetable has been laid out for the two major power firms in the State, namely, Pacific Power and Portland General Electric, in a bid to get them to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions that are associated with the electricity consumed by users in Oregon. Additionally, a ban has been imposed on the new construction of, or expansion on, existing power plants which are run using fossil fuels. Grants worth $50 million have also been set up for community-based energy projects.
Brown says that apart from moving towards a cleaner energy economy, the bill is also poised to create jobs suited to the same. Economic, health, and environmental benefits of the bill will be made available to all citizens, with special emphasis on those who have been the worst hit by pollution and climate change.
Under the terms of the new legislation, both Pacific Power and Portland General Electric are expected to submit their own plans to cut down on emissions by 80% from a baseline amount latest by 2030, 90% by 2035, and 100% by 2040. The move has been supported by the the firms, with Portland General Electric’s Vice President of Public Affairs, Dave Robertson, saying that the timeline will serve as an “important step” towards cleaner energy.
He adds that the plus point of having a detailed timeline is that the companies can get a clear view of what changes need to be made in order to succeed in the “critical transition,” while also “protecting the affordability and reliability” of electricity as we know it. Targets for greenhouse gas emissions have been laid out, which will further help keep track of the climate goals and the work being done towards the same.
The Strongest Timeline:
Oregon is not the only State in the US to come up with such a goal, as at least 17 other States, along with the District of Columbia, have already made moves towards the same. However, officials do say that the timeline set up by Oregon and it’s Governor through its clean energy bill, indeed is the “strongest.” Moreover, the deadline of 2040 has also been kept nearer than almost all other States.
The progress monitoring, meanwhile, will be done in an unconventional way, with the companies being required to reduce their emissions, instead of increasing their reliance on renewable forms of energy, something which has been done by most other States. It is believed that this method, while being atypical, is more direct. It remains to be seen how this method will fare, in terms of success.