SB 1547 B Ceases Electric Utilities From Acquiring Electricity From Coal-Fired Plants

SUMMARY: Directs PUC to develop renewable standards eliminating coal and increase renewable power to double that required by the Oregon Renewable Portfolio Standards.

PERSONAL CHOICE: Utilities can usually pass prudently incurred costs to ratepayers limiting them to a 10% profit. This bill has significant incentives to build solar and wind powered generation capacity without the prudent cost standard and removes approval of PUC allowing the pass-through of costs to their ratepayers plus their allowable profit margin.

The bill would force consumer owned utilities, like public utility districts and municipal utility districts, to pay enormous new costs in the event that they took a single ratepayer from a utility holding rate payers hostage and dooming utility districts.

It also encourages electric companies to build charging locations for vehicles, including trains and boats, and recovering the costs from ratepayers without input or recourse from the ratepayers, then donating the facilities to the owners of the properties they are located on when the facilities are fully depreciated. 

FREE MARKET: Investment-owned Utilities propose this bill to counter Initiative Petition 63.

FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY: Bill reverses the energy production tax credit, the most common is the federal credit of two cents per kilowatt hour. The bill allows utilities to shift the cost to ratepayers.Utilities are a monopoly with our protection from PUC. This bill removes our protection and gives free reign to the monopolies making it expensive for customers.

LIMITED GOVERNMENT: PUC indicates it eliminates their ability to maintain control of a reliability power grid that is unstable from intermittent wind and solar resources.

Fails to reduce overall greenhouse gas emission even though it serves to help meet goals. Facts show that complete depopulation of Oregon would not result in a measurable change in global greenhouse gas emissions.

The coal-fired plant in Boardman, Oregon, is already scheduled to close.

The bill also negates other decisions that PUC made through extensive public processes. This bill takes away the public’s voice.

Oregonian article:


  1. Favicon image John Crider says:

    You should be clear that this page is stating opinion, not fact.

    1) This bill does not in any way alter the prudence standard. The PUC maintains full authority to find a utility’s investment prudent or not. If deemed imprudent, the utility cannot collect the cost through rates. There is no lessening of the burden on the utilty to prove least-cost and least-risk, and just because a company purchases a wind plant to satisfy the RPS it is not guaranteed cost recovery. Prudence must still be proved.

    2) This bill does NOT take away the Production tax credits. It moves the cost recovery from base rates to power cost, but 100% of the PTC is still passed on to customers.

    3) The PUC is not the agency responsibility for reliability – this is NERC. The PUC expects the utility to maintain reliability standards set by NERC and allows cost recovery for actions that do so.

    The important critique of the bill – which is missing on this page – is that the mandated levels of renewable generation will result in $2 billion of wind and solar plant development that *might not be needed* if the oversupply from California and Washington can be purchased on the market (for next to nothing since wind energy is “free”). If you want to oppose the bill, that is the strongest argument.

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