In Oregon, we're blazing a trail for clean energy

Less than a month after the historic Paris Agreement on Climate Change, Oregon utilities and advocates are heeding - and leading - the call for a clean energy transition.

The next generation of energy policy is coming to Oregon. As a founding member of Renew Oregon, Climate Solutions is part of the broad coalition that filed ballot measures last fall to transition coal completely out of Oregon’s electricity mix and double Oregon’s commitment to clean, renewable energy. 

I’m thrilled to share some big news: We may be able to achieve these wins without having to go to the ballot. We have reached agreement with Portland General Electric and Pacific Power on a legislative proposal that achieves the goals of our ballot initiative.

This proposal for Oregon’s 2016 Legislative Session would:

  • Move Oregon off coal-fired power
  • Double Oregon’s renewable energy generation under the Renewable Portfolio Standard to 50%
  • Reaffirm the state’s commitment to energy efficiency programs
  • Encourage electric vehicle infrastructure
  • Increase access to residential solar for low-income communities

This deal is a really big deal for Oregon. The electricity sector accounts for 25% of Oregon’s climate pollution.  If the Legislature passes this proposal in 2016, Oregon’s two largest utilities will be on a path to meet Oregon’s greenhouse gas reduction goals. These utilities account for 70% of the electricity in Oregon, so combined with its existing hydropower, Oregon would become one of the cleanest energy jurisdictions worldwide.

Thanks to the hard work, dedication, and cooperation of a diverse group of utility, energy industry, advocacy and community groups, Oregon is poised to lead the nation on climate and clean energy.

No doubt, there is still more work to be done. Climate Solutions looks forward to supporting this proposal as well as our other priorities: to put a price on climate pollution and protect our clean fuels standard.
 

Kristen Sheeran's picture
, Climate Solutions

Kristen Sheeran served as Oregon Director of Climate Solutions. Prior to her work with us, she served as the Vice President of Knowledge Systems at Ecotrust, leading a 15 member team including economists, policy specialists, data analysts, software developers, and GIS analysts. She is also the founder and executive director of the Economics for Equity and Environment Network, a network of more than 300 economists from across the country that are organized and committed to applying their expertise to inform climate and clean energy policy and advocacy.

Kristen has a doctorate in economics, and focused her dissertation on equity and efficiency in mitigating climate change. She was a professor of economics for 7 years at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and has written and spoken extensively about climate change and clean energy.