Home News EPA Standards: A breath of fresh air for the region

EPA Standards: A breath of fresh air for the region

| Print |  Email
Thursday, June 12, 2014

EPABY ANDREA DURBIN | OB GUEST BLOGGER

Last week, the Obama administration took an important and welcomed step in the effort to protect the health and well-being of all Oregonians by limiting carbon pollution from existing power plants. These proposed standards affirm that climate change is a real and urgent issue that is impacting us right now: threatening the water that supplies our farms and factories, impacting the health of our children through increased pollution, and increasing costs for us all.

But what do these standards mean for Oregon? With the planned closing of the Boardman power plant by the end of 2020, Oregon will achieve much of the requirement set by the new EPA rules for carbon reduction. Oregon’s decision for an early shutdown for our one coal-fired power plant in Boardman combined with our commitments to renewable energy and energy efficiency means the state is well positioned to meet the 48% carbon reduction goal the EPA has set for us. 

What might come as a surprise for most Oregonians is that shutting the Boardman plant won't stop our reliance on coal. About 20% of Oregon’s power still comes from imported coal power. That means for Oregon to really address our consumption of coal power, we need to turn our sights to our neighbors in the western states that supply coal energy to Oregon: Colorado, Wyoming and Montana.

The good news for Oregon businesses is that EPA’s Clean Power Plan gives states flexibility for achieving their carbon reduction targets, including through multi-state partnerships. Coal-dependent states in the region can meet their EPA requirements by investing in Oregon’s increasing demand for energy efficiency and clean energy, and in turn we can help these states transition away from coal. 

Existing state and regional policies that control carbon pollution have already created business opportunities. In the northeast, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is cost-effectively reducing carbon pollution from the power sector and driving investment into clean energy. According to The Analysis Group, carbon reduction is good business: RGGI has created $1.6 billion in economic activity and supported 16,000 additional jobs in the region through the growth of energy efficiency and renewable energy businesses.

The EPA’s Clean Power Plan represents a business opportunity here in Oregon and a win-win for consumers. Smart investments now will not only mitigate much costlier risks into the future, but also create a competitive advantage that drives investment in our state’s clean energy economy, reducing energy costs for Oregon households by supporting energy efficiency programs and supporting cleaner, less polluting energy sources. We can all breathe a little better as a result.


Andrea Durbin is the Executive Director of the Oregon Environmental Council.

 

 

 

Comments   

 
Guest
-1 #1 Opinions Not FactsGuest 2014-06-12 19:25:43
An opinion piece masquerading as news. Why am I not surprised. The reality is that these regulations will impact lower income people far more than the limousine liberals who create these schemes.

The EPA has proven to be ridiculously over reaching, suing people with mud puddles in their back yard. Those dependent on coal and other fossil fuels will see their standard of living drop as we breathe better knowing that we're able to look the other way while others freeze in the dark.
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Green Endeavor cleans up

News
Wednesday, August 06, 2014
080614 ULnew greenendeavorBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Portland startup Green Endeavor strikes gold, inking a partnership with Underwriters Laboratories, an Illinois-based consulting and certification company with offices in 46 countries.


Read more...

A Good Leap Forward

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Agriculture businesses ramp up to meet international demand as workforce and succession challenges loom.


Read more...

College Hacker

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY KLINT FINLEY

Treehouse CEO Ryan Carson builds a 21st-century trade school.


Read more...

Tight and Loose

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY JENNIFER MARGULIS

As schools implement more rigorous academic standards, holistic and flexible approaches to K-12 education flourish.


Read more...

Downtime

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

How State Representative Julie Parrish (House District 37) balances life between work and play.


Read more...

Back to School

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY LEE VAN DER VOO

By now we’ve all read the headlines: Starbucks is giving away free degrees. Except it isn’t.


Read more...

The Alchemist

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

David Howitt explains why Portland consumer brands like Stumptown and Voodoo Doughnuts are taking the world by storm.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS