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RNP Press Release
January 29, 2015

Oregon Voters Support Transition from Coal to Clean Energy

New polling released today shows that Oregon voters support a transition from coal power to clean, renewable resources by 2025 by a margin of 71%.  The polling, sponsored by the Sierra Club, queried voters on a legislative bill sponsored by Senator Chris Edwards (SD-7) and Representative Tobias Read (HD 27). Renewable Northwest is pleased to see broad support for renewable energy across Oregon.

Said Rachel Shimshak, executive director of Renewable Northwest, “Oregon residents have consistently said that they support renewable energy resources because of the economic and environmental benefits these resources provide. It’s clear from these results that Oregonians are ready to take the next step in creating our clean energy future.”

The coal to clean energy legislation, Senate Bill 477 and House Bill 2729, will remove coal from Oregon’s investor-owned electric utilities supply by 2025 and replace that power with resources that are 90% cleaner than the coal they are replacing.   Replacement power resources like solar and wind will add to local  job growth in the region rather than elsewhere when possible.

"Clean energy benefits all Oregonians,” said Representative Tobias Read. “It protects our environment and creates good paying jobs, and I hope this moves us in that direction."

Oregon still gets one-third of its energy from coal, much of that coming from out-of-state coal plants. The Northwest is blessed with abundant renewable energy resources that can help us transition off of coal power in a way that is affordable and reliable. Oregon has already benefitted from over $9 billion of investment in renewable resources, creating jobs and local tax revenue which supports communities across the state.

"With strong state policies driving demand for the clean energy that consumers want, Oregon has become a national leader in renewable energy development," said Tom Darin, Western State Policy Director for the American Wind Energy Association. “From my regional perspective, I know that eyes are on Oregon in 2015 to take its next step in clean energy leadership and bring more environmental and economic development benefits to the state. This new policy provides that direction."

Summary of key findings:

  • 71% of Oregon voters support a legislative proposal to transition the state off coal to clean, renewable energy by 2025. This includes support from a majority of voters from all party affiliations
  • The proposal’s preference for renewable energy generated in-state to promote job growth receives nearly universal support with 88% in favor
  • Even if they thought it would increase their utility bills, a strong majority (58%) of voters support the proposal

See the full poll results here: https://secure.sierraclub.org/site/SPageNavigator/Or_Poll.html

For more information contact:

Amy Baird, Communications Manager
503-223-4544

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