Western Clean Energy Advocates



Western Clean Energy Advocates

WCEA is a diverse and growing coalition working across the West to accelerate transition to clean and secure energy resources and away from carbon-based coal and natural gas.

WCEA supports policies and investments in clean energy and the transmission needed to bring these resources to market. Strategic investment in clean energy and the electric system will increase reliabilityreduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change, and modernize the Western Interconnection.

WCEA’s diverse participants range from trade organizations to transmission developers to national, regional and small, local advocacy organizations. WCEA invites the participation of clean energy companies, environmental organizations, rural community development advocates, consumer representatives and others to engage in a clean energy campaign consistent with the following principles.

A Clean Energy Vision

The Western Clean Energy Advocates is a diverse and growing coalition working to transform the way we produce, use and distribute energy across the West.  WCEA’s Clean Energy Vision is to create jobs, protect the West’s wildlife, water and ecosystems, address climate change and enhance energy security.

It will outline a framework for the transition from coal and other risky and polluting energy sources to wind, solar and geothermal power.  It will tap our huge proven reserves of energy efficiency and rely on “smart from the start” renewable-energy projects that are planned in ways that protect and enhance habitat and ecosystems and consider local community concerns.

Working together, we will show how a more secure and sustainable electric sector can be more reliable—and less expensive—than continuing our dependence on coal and oil.

Goals – an achievable future:

  1. At least 80 percent reduction of carbon emissions from the Western electric grid from 1990 emissions levels by 2050.
  2. Protection of wildlife, biodiversity and ecosystems in the planning, approval and construction of energy projects, and minimize energy-sector water use.
  3. A reliable, safe, and secure electrical grid.
  4. Low consumer risks, costs and liabilities, including the risks of continued dependence on coal, gas and nuclear energy.
  5. WCEA will engage consumers, conservation groups, community leaders, clean-energy companies, utilities, regulators and other decision-makers to develop and support policies and programs that advance a more secure and sustainable energy future for the West.

Strategies to guide the transition to a clean-energy economy:

  1. Expedite approval and construction of “smart from the start” wind, solar and other clean-energy projects that create jobs and benefit communities, and are planned in ways that protect habitat and ecosystems.
  2. Maximize deployment of energy efficiency, demand response and distributed generation.
  3. Exclude unabated coal plants from consideration in resource plans.
  4. Maximize the use of the existing grid and corridors.
  5. Encourage technology innovation, e.g. in energy storage, integration of the transportation sector, and a “smart” grid.

Guiding Principles

WCEA members subscribe to these principles:

  • The West’s magnificent landscapes, ecosystems, and habitats must be preserved and protected.
  • The West should do its part to meet the greenhouse gas goal recommended by scientists—80% reduction below 1990 levels by 2050.
  • The grid that supports a clean energy future must be as reliable as today’s.
  • Increasing the efficiency with which we use, generate and transmit electricity—and other approaches for using less power—must be the cornerstone of our energy future.
  • A clean energy future should reduce consumer costs and risks compared with business-as-usual.
  • Policy decisions should accelerate deployment of clean technologies for generation, transmission, system operation and energy use, and integrate advanced information technologies into electric service.
  • Large-scale generation and grid expansion should be planned and built “smart from the start”—that is, developed in ways that minimize environmental impacts and avoid protected and ecologically sensitive areas.
  • Transition to a clean energy future should promote improved public health, intergenerational equity and environmental justice.


These principles provide the basis for cooperation among coalition members and with allies. They provide a common framework for advocacy in each state in support of policies that expand deployment of clean energy resources. By subscribing to them, WCEA participants can campaign effectively across the many issues entailed in transition to a clean energy future.

Working Materials


Every Second Thursday

12:30pm-2pm (Pacific)

Meeting notes and materials are only available to WCEA members. 

Past Resource: Grid Forward: Modernizing and strengthening the Western electric system

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