Environment

Washington Lawmakers Take Up Partial Closure Of Montana Coal Plant

The bill does not specify a timeline for closing the two units but it does require Puget Sound Energy to submit a proposed closure and decommissioning plan to the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission by the end of 2017. At a hearing on the bill Thursday, four lawmakers from Montana spoke out against the Washington bill, arguing closing part of the plant would hurt the economy of Colstrip and drive up the cost of power for Montana residents and companies.

Dueling Climate Bills Will Duke It Out in Oregon Legislature

A controversial plan to limit carbon dioxide emissions in Oregon that failed a year ago is back, jostling with another ambitious plan from environmental groups and utilities at this year’s month-long legislative session in Salem. Industrial companies oppose the utilities proposal, and will also line up against carbon limits.

State Officials Say Oregon Energy Bill Would Boost Rates, Wouldn’t Cut Emissions

Commissioners at the Oregon Public Utility Commission believe the proposed bill that would fundamentally restructure Oregon’s energy supply by 2040, eliminating coal-fired power and forcing utilities to serve half their customers’ demand with renewable power. would increase electricity costs and wouldn’t actually reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Carbon Initiative Key Issue As Lawmakers Reconvene In Olympia

I-732 would put a tax on carbon, similar to the one in place in British Columbia. Now the proposal is moving forward and must either pass the legislature or, if that fails, a vote by the people in November. But right now, many observers think I-732’s chances are slim because of its repeated use of the word “tax” in the proposal’s language.

State Senator: Washington Small Reactor Report Promising

A newly completed report shows promising potential for small modular nuclear reactors in Washington state, according to Sen. Sharon Brown, R-Kennewick, a proponent of nuclear power. The small reactors would have the potential for significant, steady generation of carbon-free power, the report said. Wednesday she introduced Senate Bill 6224 to act on recommendations in the new report.

Colstrip Owners Write Bills Putting Plant’s Future in Doubt

“We’re in a war,” said Montana state Sen. Jim Keane, D-Butte, of protecting Colstrip’s workers and community. Three of the six utilities that own southeastern Montana’s Colstrip power plant have helped write legislation in Washington state and Oregon that could threaten future operations of the second-largest coal-fired plant in the West.

State Senator Proposes $8 Fee Per Ton of Carbon Emissions

Sen. Steve Hobbs, a Democrat from Lake Stevens, on Wednesday proposed a bill that would charge a new fee on carbon emissions. He says the measure would raise an estimated $867 million over two years. His is one of several proposals being floated that would charge a fee on greenhouses gas emissions.

Environmental Priorities Coalition Launches 2016 Priority

The Priorities Coalition customarily selects up to four Priorities, this year it has opted to focus on one campaign to safeguard essential environmental laws and investments in four areas: clean energy, clean air, clean and abundant water, and healthy lands.