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OR Scraps Plans for Gas-Fired Power Plant


Wednesday, September 28, 2022   

Oregon has officially axed a gas-fired power plant near the Columbia River.

The Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council terminated the site certificate for the proposed Perennial Wind Chaser Station in Umatilla County.

Audrey Leonard, staff attorney for Columbia Riverkeeper, said the decision is a victory for the climate.

"If built, the facility would have been one of the largest greenhouse gas emitters in Oregon," Leonard pointed out. "Over its 30-year life cycle, the plant would have emitted at least 30 million tons of greenhouse gas pollution, which means it also would have locked the state into 30 more years of reliance on fracked gas."

Plans for the plant date back to 2015. Since then, Perennial Power Holdings, the company behind the plant, has struggled to find a buyer for the power that would be generated.

Since it was first announced, the state has committed to strong climate goals. In 2020, Gov. Kate Brown directed state agencies to cut carbon emissions in Oregon by 80% within the next three decades.

Leonard noted the decision came after a lot of hard work from the communities opposing the plant.

"The victory really belongs to those who came out and spoke out and filed comments and really did the hard work there," Leonard acknowledged.

She added the fight over fracked gas and polluting energy sources isn't over in Oregon. She pointed to the GTN Xpress Project, which would increase the capacity for fracked gas along a 1,300-mile long pipeline running from British Columbia to California.

Oregon, Washington and California are calling on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reject this project.

Disclosure: Columbia Riverkeeper contributes to our fund for reporting on Endangered Species & Wildlife, Environment, and Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

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