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News Release
Oregon Agrees to Climate Change Framework Adopted by Four Public Utility Commissions
December 1, 2006 (2006 - 026)
Contacts:  Lee Beyer, Chairman, 503 378-6611; Ray Baum, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; John Savage, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Bob Valdez, Public Affairs Specialist, 503 378-8962
SAN FRANCISCO, December 1, 2006 – Four state Public Utilities Commissions came together today in a special signing ceremony to adopt a Joint Action Framework on Climate Change.  This distinctive resolution outlines a strong commitment to regional cooperation to address climate change.  It reflects shared principles to act on the development and use of low carbon technologies and renewable energy resources, and promote energy efficiency, conservation and demand response programs.
President Michael R. Peevey of the California Public Utilities Commission; Mark Sidran, Chairman of the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission; Lee Beyer, Chair of the Oregon Public Utility Commission; and Chairman Ben R. Lujan of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, all signed the special document in the presence of over 200 witnesses at the Joint West Coast Public Utilities Commissions Workshop on Energy Efficiency.
"It makes sense to do all we can now to avoid the expected costs of carbon regulation," said Lee Beyer, chairman of the Oregon Public Utility Commission. "We welcome the opportunity to work together to develop clean energy resources for the benefit of our ratepayers."
“Regional cooperation is fundamental to advancing energy efficiency as our highest priority resource to meet growing energy needs in a clean, low cost manner,” said Michael R. Peevey, President of the California Public Utilities Commission. “The four Commissions will work together to implement shared principles for energy efficiency as a tool to reduce emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change.”
"Regulation of carbon is coming," said Bob Jenks, executive director of the Citizens' Utility Board, representing Oregon's residential ratepayers. "It's good to see regulators getting ahead of the curve."
The signing ceremony launched the Joint West Coast Public Utilities Commissions Workshop on Energy Efficiency.  This workshop brought together energy experts and international leaders to explore key technologies and best practices in energy efficiency.  Commissioners from the California Public Utilities Commission, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, and the Oregon Public Utility Commission hosted a cutting-edge workshop to promote energy efficiency as a tool to lower energy costs, promote economic growth and take action on climate change.
National experts as well as international energy efficiency leaders offered information on emerging technologies and best practices at the state, utility, business and residential levels.  Presentations covered demand management applications, accelerating smart grid development, and achieving state, regional and international greenhouse gas reduction goals. Industry leaders providing expertise included: Paul Baudry of Electricité de France; Mark Levine from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Margie Gardner of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance; and Charlie Grist, from the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. The workshop, led by Commissioner Dian M. Grueneich of California Public Utilities Commission, took place in the CPUC Auditorium with access for a broad national audience through webcast and audio call-in features.
"Global warming is a serious issue that impacts everyone and must get the attention that it deserves," said New Mexico Public Regulation Commission Chairman Ben R. Lujan. "As such the NM PRC has adopted a resolution supporting and joining the Joint West Coast Public Utilities Commissions' Joint Action Framework on Climate Change, which commits the NMPRC to implementation of the action items in the Framework. It is important for states to take action to curb Climate Change where the Bush Administration has continually failed to do so."
The workshop concluded with remarks from Art Rosenfeld of the California Energy Commission and an appeal to other states to model the leadership of the West Coast Commissions in cooperation on energy efficiency and climate change.
“Recognizing that fossil fuel-based electricity generation is a major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, our regional commitment to advance energy efficiency is key to implementing measures that have a lasting impact,” said Mark Sidran, Chairman of the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission. “We look forward to continuing efforts to take regional action on climate change.”