Oregon is now one of the first states to announce that it plans to officially wean itself off coal consumption. Governor Kate Brown signed a bill that prohibits the state’s utilities from purchasing coal-fired power after 2030. The bill is largely symbolic, since Oregon is not a coal producing state and consumes very little coal. In fact, Oregon produces and consumes far more hydroelectric energy than coal and natural gas.
- The level of coal consumption has been steadily rising in Oregon.
- Coal consumption is only 3 percent of all fossil fuel consumption.
- Coal consumption is only 2 percent of all fuel and renewable energy consumption.
- Hydroelectric power accounts for close to 35 to 40 percent of all of Oregon’s energy consumption.
In addition to Oregon’s anti-coal move, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that 11 states have failed to submit plans to reduce sulfur dioxide air pollution. The EPA says the states have not reduced their emissions enough to meet federal limits or submitted plans to the EPA outlining how they will meet an October 2018 deadline for meeting standards.
Both of these efforts will more than likely have very little effect. Oregon is not much of a coal consuming state and the EPA’s deadline comes after the next federal administration is sworn into office.