January 8, 2016

Wyoming’s Largest Utility Backs Oregon Plan To Go “Coal-Free”

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Wyoming’s largest utility is backing an initiative that would make Oregon “coal-free” by 2030.

Oregon currently gets a third of its power from coal, even though it has only one coal plant in the state. The rest comes from power plants in the region, including Wyoming’s Jim Bridger plant. Under the proposed bill, Oregon ratepayers wouldn’t pay for any electricity from coal plants after 2030.

Pacificorp, the parent company of Wyoming’s Rocky Mountain Power, is supporting the initiative.

“We see the transition away from coal continuing to happen, but we’re advocating steps to make that happen in a very orderly way,” said Dave Eskelsen, a Pacificorp spokesman.

Many of Pacificorp’s coal-fired power plants are already scheduled to reach the end of their useful lives by 2030.

“The state energy policies of the states we serve differ in fundamental ways and we do our level best to accommodate the energy policies of each state,” Eskelsen said.

If the bill is passed by the Oregon legislature, Pacificorp doesn’t anticipate it affecting rates for the company’s customers in the rest of the region.