Comment from Medley, Jay And Elizabeth
The Northwest Power and Conservation Council's plan to meet our region’s rising electricity demand is definitely forward-looking, with impressive efficiency standards and new clean energy, including no new fossil-fueled power plants or increasing emissions. However, the plan needs to go further. The draft plan, admirably aggressive in its pursuit of energy efficiency and renewable-energy targets, sidesteps the region’s current coal use, neither advocating cap-and-trade (carbon tax) policies or CO2 reduction targets that are already on the books in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Coal currently produces 23 percent of the region’s electricity but spews out 87 percent of the region’s pollution. Oregon law calls for a 75-percent cut in 1990’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, a figure that will only be reached with a virtual elimination of coal from the power system. While the Northwest Power and Conservation Council cannot order any coal plants to be shuttered, it can chart a course for a future that gradually reduces greenhouse gas emissions, a goal that’s proven itself to be both economically and morally necessary. Plus, cutting out coal power would have relatively minor rate impacts, according to the council’s own analysis. Please include in the plan steps to reduce and eventually eliminate coal energy generation from our northwest power system. Thank you!