On March 2, 2016, the Oregon Legislature passed the Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Plan (Senate Bill (SB) 1547, B-eng.). Should Democratic Governor Kate Brown sign the bill into law—and she has preliminarily indicated that she will—Oregon will become the first state to set a deadline for eliminating coal-fired electricity generation by its major utilities. The bill would also substantially expand the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS). According to supporters, the legislation is the most significant action in the United States since the conclusion of the Paris climate talks in December 2015.
Under the bill, Pacific Power and Portland General Electric, the two public utilities that provide 70 percent of the state’s power, would cease power generation from coal by 2030. The bill does not apply to privately owned utilities or electric cooperatives.