Yesterday, Robin Everett, our Beyond Coal Campaign Organizer, was quoted in a Portland Tribune article on PGE’s future energy mix. “It’s time to phase out Boardman and increase the use of renewable energy and efficiency to meet future demand,” says Robin Everett. The article points out that Portland had plenty of energy through record breaking energy use in the heat wave without PGE’s two main coal plants and without wind powering wind turbines. Two of PGE’s coal plants, the Boardman coal plant in Oregon and the Colstrip coal plant in Montana were both down for extended maintenance. The heat also decreased wind, thus decreasing wind power. PGE provided power by buying it from other utilities in the west.
This news is especially important because PGE is in the process of planning their energy mix for the next 20 years. On July 31st, PGE proposed a plan that would increase their reliance on fossil fuels. They presented scenarios that included buying an increased portion of the Boardman coal plant in eastern Oregon and building additional natural gas plants. PGE disregarded options to phase out of the Boardman coal plant and increase renewable energy and energy efficiency.
PGE’s proposal completely ignores the urgency of global warming and the importance of reducing pollution. PGE has taken a huge step backward not just for rate payers but also for the State of Oregon. If they choose to increase their reliance on coal Oregon’s carbon reduction goals will not be met. By choosing fossil fuels instead of renewable energy, PGE is passing up the opportunity to cut their carbon emissions, please their ratepayers by building renewable energy, and save money by investing in energy efficiency.
For more information on PGE’s energy plan check out the Sierra Club blog.