Wednesday, March 16, 2016

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 out
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.
I'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.)

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.)


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At 7:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful news. Not all people everywhere are morons. At last...

If only it weren't too late by a couple of decades... but better this than nothing at all.

I did not know about Hawaii's renewables mandate (Hawaii has no coal and importing oil to burn is cheaper anyway). A cautionary note, though. Hawaii's grid would seem to be fragile. They forbid MOST individuals' installing PV and connecting to the grid... because the grid would FAIL!

Hawaii does have SOME wind farming, but most of their power is from burining. So... what burning would be considered renewable? Biodiesel? Biogas? Is the state going to pay the private power concerns to convert to geothermal or more wind or PV with storage??? The power corporations won't do it "because it's the right thing to do", you know. And whatever they burn won't help BECAUSE IT'S BURNING STUFF.

As for Oregon; Good on the governor.. and the state who elected her. If only we had 49 more like them all.

At 2:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The consumer will pick up the tab for this one. Until the government considers hydro a renewable resource we will all pay the higher cost of wind and solar power.

At 4:48 AM, Blogger MER Frazer said...

And why would that ( consumers footing the bill) be considered a problem?


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