PGE’s goal is to reduce our GHG emissions by more than 80 percent by 2050, and at the same time promote economy-wide emissions reductions to help the state meet its climate goals
In 2016, PGE was part of a broad coalition that helped pass Oregon’s Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Act, a law that will dramatically reduce PGE’s greenhouse gas emissions. The law requires major investments in renewable power, energy storage, grid upgrades, ending the use of coal, and other actions that will make the electric system cleaner and greener. Together with our existing hydroelectric resources, these investments will dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions on our system. With the recent release of Our Vision for a Clean and Reliable Energy Future, we are committed to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80 percent by 2050* and to being our region’s source for affordable and dependable clean energy now and into the future.
State policymakers are considering a statewide cap and trade program
The 2018 Legislature considered cap and trade bills in both chambers, commonly called the “Clean Energy Jobs bill,” which would have added further regulation to help address climate change by setting a cap on greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon. About 100 companies, including PGE, would then have had to acquire permits for the emissions they produce.
Throughout the legislative session that ended March 3, 2018, our team provided constructive solutions to protect our customers from unnecessary cost increases under the proposed legislation without reducing the program’s effectiveness. In the short, 35-day session, however, it proved impossible for all of the various stakeholders engaged to resolve critical design issues and agree on a path to pass the bill into law.
The governor and legislative leaders have created an Office of Carbon Policy and are continuing work on a cap and trade program. They’ve convened stakeholders, including PGE, in a number of workgroups with the goal of producing consensus legislation for 2019. We believe an effective and affordable program is possible, and we are committed to constructive engagement in the ongoing effort to design a statewide cap and trade program that protects our residential and business customers.
We are advocating for customers
Our customers want clean and reliable power that is also affordable. We believe that an economy-wide, mandatory cap on greenhouse gas emissions could help Oregon realize its reduction goals if the compliance program is designed to protect Oregonians from unnecessary costs. To help provide our customers what they want, we’re asking state policymakers for a few critical design changes to the bills introduced during the 2018 session, as we work toward proposed legislation for 2019 — changes that will protect our customers while still achieving dramatic greenhouse gas reductions.
Our chief concern with the bills introduced in the 2018 session was that PGE customers would have been required to pay twice for the same greenhouse gas reductions — once for investments in clean energy, and then again for paper compliance under a cap and trade program. This would unnecessarily drive up prices for the 2 million people and 100,000 businesses PGE serves. It also could reduce incentives for Oregonians to switch to electric vehicles — something that can make all the difference in driving down emissions in the transportation sector, which is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the state, accounting for 40 percent of the state’s emissions.
We will work with others to find solutions
A cap and trade program can be designed to reduce emissions across the economy — in energy, transportation and manufacturing — while also protecting our customers. We are advocating on behalf of our customers to accomplish those goals, working with lawmakers and other stakeholders to share our concerns and offer solutions so we can develop a policy and program that works for Oregon. We’re optimistic this can be achieved.