Oregon may be largely unaffected by Obama energy plan

Business groups say proposal will cause increased costs.

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Oregon may have already been on track to reach the goals of President Barack Obama’s revised energy-cutting plan before it was unveiled yesterday. 

In the revised proposal, Oregon is obligated to reduce its carbon emissions 20 percent by the year 2030 compared to baseline levels of 2012, said Angus Duncan, chairman of the Oregon Global Warming Commission. In the initial rules put out earlier for public comments, Oregon would have been required to reduce carbon emissions a whopping 48 percent, Duncan told reporters on a conference call organized by the advocacy group Environment Oregon.

“It’s hard to say whether we’re already in compliance or not,” Duncan said, given the various policies the state already has in place to reduce carbon emissions.

(SOURCE: Portland Tribune)

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers issued a statement panning the plan: “A sustainable energy policy can’t be the result of regulatory dictate. It must come from Congress, crafted by a bipartisan coalition with full input from experts and industry stakeholders to protect energy jobs and maintain reliability and service for customers across the nation.”

Gov. Kate Brown celebrated the proposal in a statement: “This is in the best interests of Oregon on many fronts. A healthy environment is essential to ensuring the health of Oregonians and protects our quality of life for many generations to come.”

Oregon’s existing carbon reduction goal – 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 –  is far more aggressive than the federal plan. But it’s not yet clear if Oregon’s electricity sector will achieve any net reductions in carbon dioxide emissions when new gas fired plants are considered.

PGE is building a new gas fired power plant at Boardman and brought a new set of gas-fired turbines on line in Clatskanie earlier this year. The company is beginning the planning process to replace the output of Boardman in 2020, which could entail  another gas-fired plant. 

(SOURCE: OregonLive.com)


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