Comment from Joos, Sandra
The draft power and conservation plan from the Northwest Power and Conservation Council is a good start. Your work is appreciated, but is not finished. The plan needs to go further by including a plan to exit from a coal-dependent energy strategy. Coal produces 23 percent of the region’s electricity but spews out 87 percent of the region’s pollution. The draft plan, admirably aggressive in its pursuit of energy efficiency and renewable-energy targets, sidesteps the region’s 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. Oregon law calls for a 75-percent cut in 1990’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, a figure the council has determined will only be reached with a virtual elimination of coal from the power system. While the 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 your own analysis. It's time we cut our ties with coal. The Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s very good draft could become a great plan. It can build on its already-solid foundation of efficiency and clean energy and build toward a low-carbon energy future that will meet growing need while shrinking its impact on the environment. I appreciate your efforts on energy efficiency and focus on renewables, but would like to see those efforts fortified with a reduction in greenhouse emissions.