Portland General Electric (PGE) has suspended efforts to get permits to build two natural gas burning power plants near Boardman. The plan was to utilize them to replace the coal-fired plant that is set to shut down in 2021.

The current plant is being closed largely to environmental group pressure. Coal industry plants across the country are being squeezed out of existence due to such litigation from these groups.

PGE had been seeking permits to build two cleaner natural gas plants, but received considerable pressure and resistance from environmental groups.

Now PGE is in the process of negotiating with other companies to possibly buy other resources that already exist, according to oregonlive.com.

The reason for the push is so the company can satisfy it's energy delivery demands to consumers. They have already scaled back the projections as to how much energy they can deliver in the years coming after the Boardman plant closes.

Original projects for energy demand pretty much ruled out the use of generation resources that were affected by weather, such as wind or solar. These technologies, despite significant investment, have not proved to come anywhere close to the energy delivered by hydropower, nuclear, coal or natural gas.

No word was given on what this might do to rates for consumers in the coming years after the Boardman plant closes.