Utilities Warn: Cap-and-Trade Bill Will Put Customers At Risk for Price Hikes Utilities Warn: Cap-and-Trade Bill Will Put Customers At Risk for Price Hikes – NTK Network

Utilities Warn: Cap-and-Trade Bill Will Put Customers At Risk for Price Hikes

Oregon utilities are warning that a cap-and-trade bill will raise costs for their customers, even if the utilities win a special carve-out in the final product.

By NTK Staff | 02.15.2018 @5:30pm
Utilities Warn: Cap-and-Trade Bill Will Put Customers At Risk for Price Hikes

Oregon’s two largest utilities, Portland General Electric (PGE) and Pacific Power, are warning cap-and-trade advocates that their efforts will raise costs for consumers, even if these utilities win a special carve-out in the final bill.

Portland Business Journal reported (emphasis ours):

Under the current proposals, the utilities would be given allowances, but rather than using them to meet their obligations under cap and trade, most of the allowances would go back up for auction by the state. The proceeds would fund various programs, including rebates to utility ratepayers. This is how California’s cap-and-trade program works.

But PGE and Pacific Power say it would leave their customers only partially protected and doesn’t recognize the work the utilities are doing to reduce emissions under the Coal to Clean Bill, which extends out to 2040. They want direct allocation of allowances, in amounts that decline over time to ultimately meet the reductions required under cap and trade — 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050.

The two utilities are essentially telling activists fighting for California-style cap and trade: we’re doing our part to reduce carbon emissions, and this effort will force price hikes on our consumers.

PGE and Pacific Power have yet to take a firm position on the bill, but their warnings are clear: unless some major changes are made, Oregon utility customers will bear part of the cost increase under cap and trade.

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