March 2, 2016

Oregon Legislature Builds on Paris Climate Accord with Bill to Transition from Coal to Clean Electricity

Statement by Adrienne Alvord, Western States Director, Union of Concerned Scientists

OAKLAND, Calif. (March 2, 2016)—The Oregon Legislature today approved the Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Plan (SB 1547), which will reduce carbon pollution by replacing coal power with wind, solar and other renewable energy sources.

The legislation is the first major U.S. climate action since international negotiators achieved a historic accord last December at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris. If signed by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, it will transform the state’s power supply over the next two decades by eliminating the use of coal as an electricity source by Oregon’s two largest utilities and doubling the state’s commitment to renewable energy.

Below is a statement by Adrienne Alvord, Western States Director of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“The Oregon Legislature’s decision to phase out coal power is a huge step toward a clean energy future and puts the state at the forefront of climate leadership. Moving away from dirty, costly coal-fired electricity to increasingly more affordable renewable energy will protect consumers and significantly reduce the state’s emissions of the heat-trapping pollution that causes climate change.

“Oregon’s transition to a low-carbon power system will benefit the economy and the environment and should serve as a model for other states to follow.”

The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with citizens across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.