Oregon becomes first US state to eliminate coal power

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Oregon has committed to eliminating the use of coal-fired power through legislation. The aim is to totally eliminate the use of non-renewable energy sources by 2035.

The state’s assembly passed the legislation, which will soon need to be signed by governor Kate Brown. Coal currently accounts for a third of Oregon’s electric supply.

Furthermore, the state aims to double its use of renewable energy by 2040. Hydroelectric energy, as well as wind and solar, will power the majority of the area.

These laws press ahead in an effort to tackle climate change targets despite the US supreme court’s current block placed on president Obama’s renewable energy plan. They’ve also passed despite opposition from rival political parties, who suggest that these plans would increase energy costs for households in the area.

One of the largest power utilities in the state said that this legislation would result in a 30 million tonne reduction of CO2 pollution.

Climate change advocates have lauded the move as an important moment, and hope other states will soon follow suit. New York state is currently negotiating similar laws.

Executive director of Sierra Club Michael Brune said: “This historic step forward is the most significant legislative action the US has taken since the Paris climate agreement. Oregon’s climate leadership is an example for states across the country.”

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