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RNP Press Release
June 2, 2014

Renewable Energy Advocates Support EPA on New Coal Power Regulations

Portland, Ore. – Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released draft Clean Air Act rules that require existing power plants, including coal-burning plants,  to reduce their carbon emissions by 30% by 2030. Renewable Northwest, the region’s leading renewable energy advocacy group, commends the EPA and President Obama for helping to seriously reduce carbon emissions with this plan. The plan marks a turning point in climate policy in the United States, and represents a significant opportunity to create a clean energy future.

Said Rachel Shimshak, executive director, on hearing the news, “We appreciate the leadership that the EPA is showing on addressing the critical threat of climate change. Renewable resources like wind and solar and energy efficiency are well positioned to help out as we transition our electric grid away from fossil fuels.”

Coal plants are the number one emitter of greenhouse gases in the United States, which scientists cite as a primary factor behind the planet’s changing climate. Reducing carbon pollution from coal plants is the single most significant policy to date to address climate change.

The Pacific Northwest already has several coal plants headed for retirement: Boardman in Oregon is set for early retirement in 2020 and Centralia in Washington by 2025. However, the Northwest still imports coal power over transmission lines from Wyoming, Utah and Montana.  More than a third of Oregon’s in-state electric use comes from coal power. In Washington, the amount is around 14%.

Added Jeff L. Fox, Montana policy manager, “The market is already transitioning away from coal power. Renewable energy resources like wind are a proven solution to reducing carbon pollution. In particular Montana’s diverse and energetic wind resources, along with other new and existing renewable resources in the Pacific Northwest, can help the entire region cost-effectively meet new carbon reduction requirements.”

Renewable energy development to date has brought over $21 billion of investment to Northwest communities and thousands of jobs. Today’s rules, if adopted, will build on that already impressive legacy for the benefit of everyone.

For more information contact:

Amy Baird
Renewable Northwest Communications Manager

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