[JURIST] Oregon Governor Kate Brown [official website] on Friday signed [press release] a bill into law making Oregon the first state to remove coal from its power supply. Senate Bill 1547 [text, PDF] not only not only requires the elimination of coal fired resources but also creates limits on neighboring states as well. Senate Bill 1547 requires electric companies to remove all coal fired resources by January 1, 2030 and incentivizes them to use other forms of clean energy such as coal to offset the impact of climate change. Upon signing, Brown said:
Knowing how important it is to Oregonians to act on climate change, a wide range of stakeholders came to the table around Oregonians' investments in coal and renewable energy. ... Working together, they found a path to best equip our state with the energy resource mix of the future. Now, Oregon will be less reliant on fossil fuels and shift our focus to clean energy. I'm proud to sign a bill that moves Oregon forward, together with the shared values of current and future generations.The bill also creates avenues for consumers to transition into becoming community suppliers and partners of new forms of energy in the coming years.
Creating forms of clean energy to offset the impact of climate changes is a highly contested issue. In February the US Supreme Court [official website] ordered that the Obama administration delay enforcement [JURIST report] of the Clean Power Plan (CPP) pending a resolution to legal challenges. The request to block the implementation of the CPP was made in late January, with states insisting [JURIST report] that the plan's implementation would create a burden. In June the Supreme Court ruled [JURIST report] 5-4 that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could not make regulations regarding the toxic emissions of power plants without considering costs. In August the EPA proposed new rules [JURIST report] to cut methane emissions by the oil and gas industry as part of the Obama administration's commitment to taking action on climate change.