Sharing renewable electricity across long distances is among the most cost-effective strategies for slashing carbon emissions. Getting there will take local action as well as immediate upgrades across the region. Yet grid upgrades are regularly delayed for a decade or more by community opposition and interstate disputes.
President Biden's infrastructure spending plan includes $20 billion to reconnect neighborhoods that were obliterated by massive building projects. Portland's historically-Black Albina neighborhood is a textbook example of a community that could benefit.
Oregon still feels like “the bride left waiting at the altar,” said Sen. Lee Beyer, D-Springfield, after the Washington State Senate infamously refused in 2013 to fund a replacement for the century-old bridge.
The city has forecast a $18.4 million surplus for the next budget year. Mayor Ted Wheeler has proposed splitting it between two of his priorities: transportation infrastructure and services for the homeless.