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Like many Oregonians, we see the benefits of renewable power. Renewable power is clean, with no particles to pollute the air and no carbon pollution. Renewable power is locally produced by Northwest wind farms, providing jobs right here in the state. With clean power, we replace coal-fired power produced elsewhere.


That is why we are very pleased that the Lake Oswego City Council voted on July 7 to purchase 100-percent wind power from PGE. In doing so, we join neighboring cities — including Beaverton, Milwaukie, Gresham, Hillsboro and Wilsonville — and numerous local businesses, in providing regional leadership.

Lake Oswego is able to do this for a tiny premium — around 2 percent of the total cost of power. This cost will go down over time as renewable power gets cheaper and as the city follows its current sustainability plan to reduce its total energy usage. For example, the recent installation of LED light bulbs has reduced power costs by hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. By following sustainability principles, Lake Oswego has been able to save money and contribute to a cleaner Oregon.

The timing is right. There is a growing awareness that we need to deal with the rising impact of greenhouse gas emissions now. That is why cities and communities throughout the world are developing climate action plans to examine what they can do as part of a global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This action is a significant step on the part of our community to support that effort.

Oregon has long been ranked as a leader in clean energy, and we have many jobs related to wind power. Leading innovators often come from Oregon, and we are home to many leading renewable companies, including Solar World, Iberdrola Renewables and Vestas. Renewable projects create good jobs around the state, including many in rural areas. Clearly, the more renewable energy we buy, the more prosperity we will have across our region.

According to its website, Portland General Electric currently gets 8 percent of its energy from wind and solar, 17 percent from hydro, 40 percent from natural gas or coal and 35 percent from variable sources that it purchases on the spot market. Voluntary purchases are a critical part of the effort to meet Oregon climate goals.

The City Council stands with the majority of citizens in making this decision. Several recent polls show that a significant majority of Oregonians support moving to renewable power. National polls show that a majority are concerned about climate change. Even the Department of Defense sees climate change as an immediate risk to our national security.

Thus, we are pleased to be part of a city that steps up and takes action. With this decision, we will be eliminating 8.9 million pounds of C02. Thank you, Lake Oswego City Council!

Lisa Adatto is a member of the Sustainability Advisory Board. She and Duke Castle are both members of the Lake Oswego Sustainability Network.

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