Bend Oregon Businesses Come Out in Support of Coal to Clean Energy

first_img By CBN E-Headlines Bend, Oregon Businesses Come Out in Support of Coal to Clean Energy Transition on November 13, 2014 LinkedIn Google+ Pinterest Yesterday, the Sierra Club held a press event to highlight that 72 local businesses support a transition beyond coal to clean energy like wind and solar. The Sierra Club has been organizing in Bend this fall to raise awareness that Pacific Power, Central Oregon’s biggest utility corporation, brings in two-thirds of its energy to out-of-state coal plants. These businesses and various community members are demanding a transition to clean energy. Attendees of the press conference heard from Sierra Club member Connie Peterson, Owner of Bend Electric Bikes Sterling McCord and newly elected Bend City Councilor Nathan Boddie.“Bend’s business community must stand with citizens behind the Sierra Club’s campaign to transition beyond coal to clean energy,” said long time Bend resident and Owner of NW E-Tech Brandon Audia. “We must show that we all care about our city’s health and economic prosperity, which lie with clean, renewable energy, not dirty, outdated fossil fuels of the past.”Concerned community members and businesses aim to get the Bend mayor and city council members to sign on to a letter supporting the Oregon Public Utility Commission in making a plan that works with Pacific Power and other utilities to transition off coal to clean energy.Local companies include: Greg Welch Construction, Mt. Bachelor Design Architecture, Legum Design, NW E-Tech, Great Harvest Bread Co., 541 Threads, Sunny Yoga Kitchen, Little Bite Café, Longboard Louie’s, Dump City Dumplings, Addy Mac’s Creamery, Scotty’s Three Forks, Jumbo Tamales, Blue Spruce Pottery, Natural Edge Furniture, Northwest Quality Roofing, Visitor’s Choice, Solar Light & Energy LLC, Bend Electric Bikes, John Kinder Pottery, Green Savers USA, Great Northern Window, Sweet Alchemy, What Lola Wants, A Better Alteration, Birkenstock of Bend, Dojo/Kanpai, Bishops Barbershop, Bond St. Grill, Local Joe, Ranch Records, Solstice Supply Co., T-Bar Films, Martin Sundberg Photography, Kialoa Canoe Paddles, Demetri’s Greek American Cusina, Jill Rosell Photography, Sunlight Solar Energy, Inc., Strictly Organic Coffee Co., GB2 Agency, Pura Vida Adventures, Hall of Fame Photo, Palmer’s Cafe, Commute Options, Kebaba, Broken Top Bottle Shop, Sunnyside Sports, Lotus Moon Boutique, Footzone/Outside IN, Wabi Sabi, Mocking Bird Gallery, Thai on the Fly, High Desert Lotus, Pare Fine Jewelry, John Paul Designs, The Stihl Whiskey Bar, Bend Mountain Coffee, Sweet Saigon LLC, Leapin’ Lizards Toy Co., Dudley’s Bookshop Cafe, COSAS NW, Hansen and Larson LLC, Bond Street Market, SuitZoot, Risse Racing Technology, Free Range Equipment, Drink Tanks LLC, Cairn, Recharge Sport, Bend OR Magazine, Townshend’s Tea House, Realtor/Allison James Estates &Homes.“The growing coalition of local businesses demonstrates broad support for clean energy and the desire for Bend’s elected leaders to become clean energy champions,” said Sierra Club Field Organizer Victoria Leistman.“Our leaders must act so that we stop bringing in dirty out-of-state coal and start investing in clean energy that creates long-term jobs and goes a long way towards addressing climate disruption.”Cheaper, safer and cleaner sources of energy like wind and solar are available now but are hardly accounted for in Pacific Power’s energy mix. Many subscribe to Pacific Power’s Blue Sky Program, not realizing that the extra money paid by Blue Sky customers goes to projects which are too small to change Pacific Power’s overall energy mix and does nothing to move the dial on Pacific Power’s overwhelming reliance on coal. The company’s long-term energy plan shows virtually no increase in clean energy.“The reality is that the coal industry is dying out and the future is in modern solutions like wind and solar,” said senior campaign representative for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Amy Hojnowski. “Looming overhead are further public health protections and the first national standards limiting carbon pollution from power plants, making dirty coal an even more expensive, risky investment proposition.”Sierra Club’s analysis of reports from the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) says that Oregon Pacific Power customers have seen their electricity bills increase by 61 percent since 2006, the year after Warren Buffett started operating the utility. The Sierra Club says that Pacific Power customers saw a greater rate increase than customers of any other major utility in the six states that Pacific Power serves. The costs of continuing to operate old, outdated coal plants continue to rise, and Pacific Power’s parent company, PacifiCorp, will seek rate recovery from Oregon customers for its $4.2 billion coal fleet expenditures according to the Sierra Club.“Unlike coal plants, the cost of wind and solar are known at the outset of the project, and those costs are declining as the industry matures,” said Dr. Ezra Hausman, Ph.D., independent expert on energy and environmental economics at a Sierra Club press conference last month. Dr. Hausman recently wrote a report, commissioned by the Sierra Club, showing that even a fraction of Oregon’s solar and wind resources could provide electricity to all Oregonians and allow the state to sell excess energy to other states.The clean energy economy is full of potential in the Northwest. Oregon is fifth in the nation for total wind installation and there is enough solar energy installed to power more than 9,300 Oregonian homes. Oregon’s renewable energy sector has brought over $9 billion of capital investment, creating over 5,000 jobs in construction and operations, and bringing over $110 million in public revenue raised through taxes.“Demand for solar installation in Oregon in unquenchable,” said Paul Israel, president of Sunlight Solar Energy Inc. and of the Oregon Solar Energy Industries Association (OSEIA). “Besides saving Oregon families money, solar installation means jobs.”Sierra Club adds that every part of coal’s life cycle, from mining to burning to disposing of the coal ash, presents hazards to human health. “Pollution from coal plants contributes to the mercury that contaminates our rivers and is one of the largest sources of climate disruption. With backing from our local businesses, we can get Bend’s elected officials to support a transition to clean energy that will benefit both local job creation and our environment,” said Leistman.Local Companies involved in the Support of Coal to Clean Energy Transition can be found at Sure thing: www.content.sierraclub.org/press-releases/2014/11/bend-business-lettercenter_img Facebook Twitter 0 Share. Tumblr Emaillast_img read more