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Oregon ballot initiatives to eliminate coal power by 2030 clear first hurdle

By  Wednesday November 4, 2015    9:02 AM

Dive Brief:

  • Environmental group Renew Oregon has submitted 4,000 signatures to Oregon's Secretary of State Office, qualifying two ballot initiatives for "titles" that could eliminate coal-powered electricity by 2030, the Oregonian reports. 
  • The first ballot measure would require power companies to cease generating electricity from coal by 2030 and mandate that half of new energy production by 2040 come from renewable sources. The second would allow the state to garnish wages for executives of companies that don't follow the law.
  • Once the initiatives are certified, the group will still need to collect more than 88,000 signatures for each title in order to place them on the ballot in November 2016.

Dive Insight:

An environmental group looking to eliminate coal from the state's power mix has cleared an important early hurdle, the Oregonian reports, submitting more than twice the signatures needed to have two ballot initiatives certified with titles. 

Once the titles are approved, Renew Oregon will face the task of getting about 88,000 signatures per title in order to have them placed on the ballot in the next general election. 

The group wants to eliminate coal-fired power from Oregon's energy mix by 2030, and by 2040, double the amount of renewable energy used in the state.

About one-third of Oregon's power currently comes from coal, and less than 10% from solar and wind.

"If Oregon transitions off coal, the state would be part of a national trend," Renew Oregon said in a statement announcing the initiatives. The group noted that Hawaii is working to transition to all renewable energy, and California has plans to reach 50% by 2030.

"When you combine this shift with our existing hydropower capacity, Oregon will be on track to have 90% renewable energy in total. Currently, less than 10% of our electricity comes from renewable sources like wind and solar," the group said.

Recommended Reading

The Oregonian: Coal-free power by 2030? Environmental group submits first round of signatures for November ballot


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