Avista and partner utilities in Oregon file lawsuit challenging Climate Protection Plan
SPOKANE, Wash. – March 18, 2022: Avista, along with utilities NW Natural and Cascade Natural Gas, filed a lawsuit today in the Oregon Court of Appeals requesting a judicial review of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s Climate Protection Program (CPP). The companies also challenge the authority of the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to enact and enforce the CPP.
“Avista is committed to a greener future and decarbonization. This is why we and our partner utilities participated in the rulemaking process as the CPP was developed to help shape policy that would effectively move us toward lower emissions while maintaining affordability and reliability for those we serve,” Avista president and CEO Dennis Vermillion said. “Unfortunately, the CPP does not reflect our feedback or collaborative efforts, and it is not a constructive pathway for reducing emissions. We are disappointed in the outcome and the negative impact it will have on our customers. It will increase their cost of energy and may ultimately inconvenience them by causing them to replace their natural gas heating systems and appliances. Our customers value energy choice. This is why we are taking this legal action now.”
Avista is actively pursuing a clean energy future. At the same time, it is critical to recognize the importance of balancing responsibility for the environmental footprint while ensuring the affordability and reliability of energy for customers. Natural gas continues to be an important option for Avista customers, providing access to cleaner and more affordable energy, allowing for more customer choice, and helping to ensure the reliability of the energy to serve the community. It remains one of the cleanest burning fuels and plays a key role in reducing carbon emissions, particularly when used directly by customers in their homes rather than used to generate electricity to meet the same need. Compared to wood, heating oil and other fuels, natural gas improves air quality.
For decades, Avista has worked with customers to use natural gas efficiently, often replacing dirtier fuels such as wood, pellets, oil or kerosene, which contribute to poor air quality or have more emissions than natural gas.
While the Company challenges the CPP, it will take the necessary steps to comply with the rule. For more information about Avista’s commitment to clean energy and clean energy goals, visit myavista.com/greener.
About The Climate Protection Plan
The CPP’s stated purpose is to create a program intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from sources located in Oregon. It attempts to do so by imposing declining limits or caps on a covered fuel supplier’s attributed emissions. The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) developed the program, and EQC approved it, at the direction of Oregon Governor Kate Brown. See Office of the Governor – State of Oregon, Exec. Order No. 20-04, 4(c) (May 10, 2020).
Avista Utilities is involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy. We provide energy services and electricity to 403,000 customers and natural gas to 369,000 customers in a service territory that covers 30,000 square miles in eastern
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