Oregon to Ban Coal Completely for Energy Generation
Dirty coal is going down in Oregon (source)
by Gaius Publius
Short and very sweet. There are two states that don't use coal at all to generate energy, Vermont and Hawaii. All of the rest burn some coal, and no state has banned coal completely; until now; until Oregon. My emphasis below:
Coal phased outI've argued for some time that it's going to take force, and the largest agent of force in the country is government. (Second most powerful is the court, in my opinion, followed by chaos in carbon markets and yes, mass uprising.)
Oregon governor signs landmark bill
PORTLAND, Ore. – With the stroke of Gov. Kate Brown’s signature Friday, Oregon became the first state to eradicate coal from its power supply through legislation and now boasts some of the most stringent demands for renewable energy among its state peers.
The new law will wipe out coal-generated energy in phases through 2030 and requires utilities to provide half of customers’ power with renewable sources by 2040, doubling the state’s previous standard.
“Oregon is known to be a leader in clean-energy programs, investing in energy efficiency and recognizing the risk of climate change,” said Brown, who signed the measure surrounded by students at a Portland elementary school that’s powered by solar panels.
Environmental experts and advocates say the law’s coal phase-out component is precedent-setting for lawmakers considering similar moves in their states, although Hawaii and Vermont have standing histories of running coal-free.
The renewables portion thrusts Oregon to the top ranks of a handful of other states that have renewable mandates of 50 percent or more. Hawaii, for instance, has a 100-percent requirement by 2045, while Massachusetts has 1-percent annual increase indefinitely, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.
In a perfect world, government would create a World War II-style mandate for change, then enact it. Did the "free market" get to decide how many tanks GM built in 1942? How dumb would it be to do that? Oregon points the way.
(Care to join a movement to mobilize, WWII-style? Click here and sign. More and more, public figures are figuring this out as well. You can help encourage them to get it.)