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Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Oregon Public Utility Commission: PacifiCorp Headed for a ‘Trainwreck’ on Electricity Rates

Commissioners Require Power Provider to Re-Do the Math on Aging Coal Plants

SALEM, OR–(ENEWSPF)–October 28, 2013.  The Oregon Public Utility Commission issued a stern warning to PacifiCorp today after reviewing the energy resources the company is proposing to meet future electricity demand, with one commissioner saying the power company was headed “for a trainwreck” on the rate approval process unless they fully accounted for the financial risks of spending hundreds of millions of dollars on their aging fleet of coal plants. The company supplies electricity to its subsidiaries Pacific Power and Rocky Mountain Power.

Amy Hojnowski, Senior Campaign Representative for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, released the following statement in response:

“PacifiCorp wants to dump more than $2 billion into its old, dirty coal plants and stick customers with the bill, but today the Oregon Public Utility Commission demanded a full accounting of the potential risks before they’ll even consider loosening the purse strings. PacifiCorp has consistently omitted the high financial risks and uncertainties that confront their coal plants as they are forced to clean up coal pollution, including mercury, ozone, and carbon.  On top of that, PacifiCorp wants to spend $6.1 billion on new transmission lines, but they have no plans to add wind power to their system until 2024.  PacifiCorp is clinging to the past rather than planning for a clean energy future, putting billions of ratepayer dollars on the line with their dangerous bet on coal. Oregon ratepayers should applaud their commissioners for demanding a full assessment of the risks before considering any rate hikes.

“Today’s actions by the Commission put PacifiCorp on notice that it must be transparent and forthright about the financial risks of coal.  PacifiCorp should take a page from its corporate sibling MidAmerican and retire coal plants, replacing that power with affordable, clean wind power and other clean energy.  By planning for a clean energy future, PacifiCorp can reduce risks for ratepayers, create jobs in the region, and benefit our environment and public health. The message PacifiCorp should have heard loud and clear today is that it is time for the company to change its ways.”

Source: sierraclub.org


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