Mayor Adams' office has just sent out a press release that will trigger victory parties in the offices of Oregon's environmental groups:

"I am pleased and encouraged by PGE’s announcement today that it is seeking to submit an alternative operating plan for the Boardman Plant and phase out Boardman, or switch to non-coal fuel, by 2020."

Adams pushed PGE to shut down Eastern Oregon's Boardman coal plant back in October, writing a strongly-worded letter to the Oregon Public Utilities Commission saying Oregon needed to ditch coal power to meet Portland's coal of cutting greenhouse gas reductions by 80 percent over the next 40 years.

Numerous green groups, including the Sierra Club, have campaigned hard over the past year for PGE or the state to shut down Boardman.

Until now, coal power has been green Portland's dirty secret. Forty percent of Portland's energy comes from coal and Boardman, which burns 300 pounds tons of coal an hour, is responsible for 65 percent of the sulfur dioxide emissions in the state according to the Oregon Dept of Energy.

Both leading Democratic gubernatorial candidates went on the record with the Mercury in favor of Oregon ditching coal and phasing out Boardman, though Bill Bradbury was willing to set a 2060 2014 deadline for coal-free Oregon while John Kizhaber did not want to set a specific deadline.

Contacted for comment minutes ago, PGE's media relations worker responded, "I'm not sure if we're issuing a news release."

Um, too late.

Update 5:17 pm: Lead coal fighter at the Oregon Sierra Club Cesia Kerns is conflicted about the announcement. "It shows that PGE is taking a step in the right direction, but shutting it down in 2014 would be even better for Oregon's health," says Kerns. Thanks to a rule handed down by the Department of Environmental Quality, says Kerns, the Boardman plant will have to install expensive pollution controls in 2014. The Sierra Club says they should seize the 2014 date to shut down altogether. "They have been polluting unchecked for the past three decades, they should not keep polluting for another decade," says Kerns.

PGE returned my request for comment just a minute ago, confirming that they will be shutting down Boardman or phasing out coal by 2020 and that they will, at some point, send out a press release.