Trash Burning Shouldn’t Count as Renewable Energy

In Major Threat by OLCVstaff

This legislative session, we’re working to pass some exciting bills, including a ban on dangerous pesticides, a reduction in dirty diesel engines, improved oil train safety, and, of course, the Clean Energy Jobs bill. But, while we work to get these passed, we’re also keeping an eye out for bad bills that need to be stopped. One of the worst? Senate Bill 451.

If passed, SB 451 would allow waste incinerators to count toward the Renewable Portfolio Standard. The Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) sets a requirement for how much of Oregon’s energy must come from renewable resources. Burning garbage should not count as a renewable resource. Will you ask your State Senator to vote no on SB 451?

As part of the Coal to Clean law, Oregon’s goal is for 50% of our energy to come from renewable resources by 2040. Solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, and small hydropower all count toward the RPS, and help bring us closer to our 2040 goal. These are all clean, low-carbon energy sources that are better for our air quality, water quality, and community health than fossil fuels like coal, oil, or natural gas.

The RPS was designed to help Oregon invest in clean energy sources like these, and waste incinerators are by no means clean. The burning of plastics and other toxic substances contributes to air pollution and climate change. Waste incinerators do not have a place in the RPS. Can you ask your Senator to vote no on SB 451?

Covanta—the waste incinerating corporation who requested this bill—would clearly benefit from SB 451, but Oregonians would suffer. We should be incentivizing truly clean energy, like solar and wind, rather than encouraging the burning of trash.

Please, take a minute to write to your Senator. Let’s make our voices stronger than Covanta’s!