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|Wednesday, January 20, 2010|
Portland General Electric’s proposal to phase out Oregon’s sole coal-burning power plant 20 years ahead of schedule means the state will soon be losing its largest source of pollution from greenhouse gases, sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxide. It also means we will lose a reliable workhorse that has helped keep electricity rates relatively low in Oregon. Replacing the Boardman coal plant will not be easy.
UPDATE, Jan. 21: PGE spokesman Steve Corson says a team of researchers is intensifying its study of biomass at Boardman, looking at not only wood pellets but also a fast-growing exotic weed called arundo donax as well as the process of torrefaction, which converts wood into a type of charcoal before burning it at the plant.
So get to work. If President Obama is right and the leaders of the future economy will be the leaders of the renewable energy economy, PGE needs to get off of coal and into the future.
Ben Jacklet is the managing editor of Oregon Business.
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