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Advocates hopeful climate bill can pass Oregon Legislature

KTVZ file

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon would adopt one of the country’s most ambitious timelines for eliminating carbon dioxide emissions from its power grid under a bill being considered by the Legislature this year.

House Bill 2021 — a product of negotiations between the state’s largest utilities, environmental justice groups, renewable energy boosters and more — advanced out of one House committee late last month. It must now navigate the state budgeting process before final votes in the House and Senate.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reports the bill sets a timetable by which Oregon’s two major power companies, Portland General Electric and Pacific Power, must eliminate emissions associated with the electricity they provide.

Five “electricity service suppliers” in the state also would face regulation, though their emissions are tiny compared to the big utilities.

At least 17 other states and the District of Columbia have already adopted similar goals, according to the Clean Energy States Alliance.

But advocates say Oregon’s plan stands out in both approach and timeline. The bill requires PGE and Pacific Power to submit plans to reduce emissions by 80% from a baseline amount by 2030, 90% by 2035, and completely eliminate emissions by 2040.

That end date is notably ambitious. It’s a nearer deadline than nearly every other state that has adopted a clean power plan, including Washington and California.

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The Associated Press


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