Portland General GHG Reduction Goals 2011
|Company||Portland General Electric|
|Filer||As You Sow|
|Subject(s)||Climate Change; Greenhouse Gas Emissions|
|Resolved Clause Summary||Greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals|
|Status||Withdrawn; Company will address|
WHEREAS: In October 2006, a report authored by former chief economist of the World Bank, Sir Nicolas Stern, estimated that climate change will cost between 5% and 20% of global domestic product if greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are not reduced, and that GHG's can be reduced at a cost of approximately 1% of global GDP per year.
In October 2009, a National Academy of Sciences report stated that the burning of coal to generate electricity in the U.S. causes about $62 billion a year in "hidden costs" for environmental damage, not including the costs for damage associated with GHG emissions. According to the U.S. EPA, monetized costs and benefits of complying with the Clean Air Act and its amendments total over $700 billion and $23 trillion, respectively. The electric generating industry accounts for more carbon dioxide emissions than any other sector, including the transportation and industrial sectors. U. S. fossil fueled power plants account for nearly 40% of domestic and 10% of global carbon dioxide emissions.
Coal accounted for approximately 20% of Portland General Electric’s retail load requirement in 2009.
In spring 2010 the Environmental Protection Agency took steps to implement Clean Air Act requirements for large new or modified stationary sources, including power plants, to obtain permits that include greenhouse-gas emission limitations. These requirements are scheduled to take effect in the first half of 2011.
In July 2010, the EPA issued its draft Transport Rule and is expected to issue its Air Toxics Rule in March of 2011. These rules will set significantly more stringent limits on emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury and acid gases from power plants. Bernstein Research estimates that by 2015, when both rules take effect, 15% of coal fired power plants will be unable to meet these regulations and will be retired, and numerous others will require substantial investments to achieve compliance.
Many utilities, including Xcel Energy, Calpine Corporation, and Progress Energy are planning to replace some of their coal-fired power plants, having determined that alternative such as natural gas, efficiency, and renewable energy are more cost-effective than retrofitting the coal plants to comply with anticipated standards.
Duke, Exelon, FPL, NRG, and others, through their participation in the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, have also publicly stated that the U.S. should reduce its GHG footprint by 60% to 80% from current levels by 2050. They have endorsed adoption of mandatory federal policy to limit CO2 emissions as a way to provide economic and regulatory certainty needed for major investments in our energy future.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED: shareholders request that the Board of Directors adopt quantitative goals, based on current technologies, for reducing total greenhouse gas and other air emissions from the Company’s products and operations; and that the Company report to shareholders by November 30, 2011, on its plans to achieve these goals. Such a report will omit proprietary information and be prepared at reasonable cost.