Category: Facts and Information

Bright Future

bright.futureHow to keep the Northwest's lights on, jobs growing, goods moving and salmon swimming in the era of climate change.

The NW Energy Coalition recently released an exciting report showing that the four-state region of the Northwest (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana) has ample, affordable energy conservation and renewable energy resources to serve future power needs and fulfill our climate responsibilities, reviving our economy and creating thousands of good local jobs along the way.

The report, Bright Future, explains how, with federal and regional leadership, the Northwest electric power system can:

•    Meet future energy demands
•    Restore wild salmon to our rivers and ocean
•    Help the transportation sector slash its global-warming emissions
•    Reduce its own carbon emissions at least 15% by 2020 and 80% or more by 2050
•    Create thousands of family-wage jobs and build local and regional economies

Read the Press Release

In preparation for their 6th Northwest Conservation and Electric Power Plan, staff at the Northwest Power and Conservation Council completed several studies that supported the findings of our Bright Future Report from earlier this year. Much of their analyses help confirm that we can affordably shut down regional coal plants, start electrifying transportation, restore endangered salmon with options like lower Snake River dam removal, invest in conservation and renewables to meet our energy demands, and create new good jobs in the process.

Click here to download the full report.

Click here to download a four-page summary.

Support for Bright Future

National voices

"We are in a race against catastrophic global warming. I do not know if we will win it. If we do, it will be because right now, at this hinge of change, new American leaders join with Americans to reverse the carbon tide. Bright Future outlines the opportunity for our nation's new leaders to join the people of the Northwest to reverse that tide in our growing and dynamic region. I think we can, and must, reduce carbon faster than Bright Future proposes; but I support adopting its conservative targets for energy efficiency and renewable energy now, so we are in position to move faster. And I strongly second the report's confidence that Northwest communities will embrace federal leadership to jointly reduce carbon and build a better economy."

Denis Hayes
President of the Bullitt Foundation
Co-founder of Earth Day

"The Bright Future report shows that, in the Northwest states, energy efficiency is the first and fastest way to produce affordable energy for people and businesses, create good jobs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming — while simultaneously helping to restore the region's iconic salmon. In a region of the country where the federal government owns much of the energy infrastructure, this report provides a virtual playbook for how to implement the Obama administration's vision of producing sustainable energy in ways that stimulate the economy and protect the environment all at the same time."

Josh Reichert
President of the Pew Environment
Group, Washington D.C.

"The Bright Future report builds on the Northwest's record of innovative leadership in aligning economic opportunity and environmental protection. This plan shows us how investors, entrepreneurs, and workers can partner with policymakers to create the clean energy future and restore historic salmon runs. This will make the Northwest more competitive while delivering more energy for the dollar and bringing back the prosperity that salmon can provide. President Obama believes clean energy can be the economic engine of our recovery, and the Northwest has the chance to show how this can be done quickly, generating real benefits for the region."

Aimee Christensen
Christensen Global Strategies
and the Clean Economy Network

Northwest voices

"I am proud to be a businessman in the Northwest, where so many businesses are also leaders that invest in our communities and our future. Now we in business have a new challenge we must do our part to tackle - global warming. We must drastically reduce our carbon emissions. I can personally attest that the Northwest has the expertise and enterprise to meet this challenge - because we can turn it into an opportunity that also creates jobs, modernizes our infrastructures, and sustains our great quality of life.

“And now we have a true federal partner in the Obama administration. The unique federal role in the Northwest's supply and distribution of energy makes federal leadership indispensable. With that leadership from President Obama and his team, Northwest people, businesses, and governments can partner to create the clean, job-creating energy system that our times demand."

Don Barbieri
Chairman of the board
Red Lion Hotels, Spokane, Wash.

"I own one of the several thousand small businesses in the West whose existence depends on having winter snows in our mountains, and salmon and trout in our rivers. My 15 employees are among the thousands of people who work for river and outdoor-based businesses. I am thrilled to read, in Bright Future, that the Northwest can move quickly to help stop global warming and restore salmon and create thousands of new jobs in small businesses throughout our region - and keep our power bills affordable. My business and our customers are ready to follow President Obama's example: let's seize this opportunity for prosperity today and a livable planet tomorrow."

Andy Munter, Owner
Backwoods Mountain Sports
Ketchum, Idaho

“Our most sacred charge is to leave this world, this creation, better than we found it. In the current era of people losing their jobs and homes, deteriorating conditions for fish and wildlife, and more dire reports on climate change, that sacred charge sometimes seems out of reach.

“Thankfully, this new report reveals the path to a bright future. We can put people back to work building tomorrow’s clean energy economy. We can shut down polluting coal plants. We can restore endangered species and we can stop contributing to global warming. Bright Future shows we have all the God-given resources – the wind, the sun, the seas, the heat of the Earth – we need to build a better world. All we need are the vision and the political will to use those resources wisely.

LeeAnne Beres
Executive Director
Earth Ministry, Seattle

“Many people believe we do not face the prospect of a bright future. They are concerned that either we will experience the potentially catastrophic consequences of global climate change or we will live in an impoverished future in which our mobility and our standard of living will be significantly diminished by the high costs of a low-carbon energy system.

“The NW Energy Coalition, however, has made a persuasive case that we can indeed have a bright and affordable future. They show that by building on and extending the Northwest’s history of improving the efficiency with which we use energy and capitalizing on the opportunities afforded by the region’s renewable resources, we can have an affordable, low-carbon future. It won’t be easy. We will need to work hard to improve on and extend the best we’ve done to date. But if we do that, we can indeed have a bright future.”

Richard Watson
Former Power Planning Division director for the Northwest Power and Conservation Council
Portland, Oregon

“The visionary regional energy plan Bright Future developed by the NW Energy
Coalition is perhaps the most comprehensive strategic system analysis to date. The potential beneficial impacts of this plan resonate far beyond national borders.
“Globally / daily, environmental flags (drought, spiking temperatures, rising seas, etc.) beckon our attention. And the question remains: ‘Are we willing to change our institutionalized policies and practices in a timely enough manner to prevent our demise?’  Hopefully, we’ll choose to heed this call to action.

“The TIME IS NOW to boldly step forward without apology or excuse, and embrace the collective wisdom embodied in the framework of the Bright Future energy plan. Failing this opportunity is not an option . . . and we must surpass the ‘political whim of the day’ mindset. May future generations look back upon these moments, with a heightened sense of appreciation for our political will to wisely choose a restorative energy path.

Craig Satein
Weatherization Supervisor
Housing and Community Services Agency of Lane County, Oregon.

Save Our wild Salmon is a diverse, nationwide coalition working together to restore wild salmon and steelhead to the rivers, streams and marine waters of the Pacific Northwest for the benefit of our region's ecology, economy and culture.

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