Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is expected to sign into law a bill that would eliminate the state’s use of coal for power production.
Senate Bill 1547 requires Oregon’s electric utilities to abandon coal by 2030. The bill also increases the Renewable Portfolio Standard for the state’s three largest utilities, requiring them to procure at least half their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2040.
“Climate change is the most pressing issue facing mankind,” said Sen. Lee Beyer, D-Springfield, who carried the bill. “This bill helps to move Oregon away from fossil fuel energy production and toward a healthier future with clean energy. This strikes a good balance between phasing in clean energy sources for all of Oregon’s electricity supply while taking into account the needs of utilities and ratepayers.”
SB 1547 also creates a community solar program, changes criteria for generating renewable energy certificates and ensures facility decommissioning costs are recovered.
SB 1547 gives the Public Utility Commission (PUC) broad rule-making and regulatory authority, capping the annual rate increase at 4 percent and establishing a mechanism for exemption of compliance would result in adverse financial impact to ratepayers. The PUC is required to report back to the Oregon legislature.