In 1979, Portland passed the nation’s first energy conservation policy. To carry it out, the Portland city council formed a nonprofit corporation called Portland Energy Conservation, Inc.
That policy, and the organization that ultimately became PECI, were unprecedented. They were formed in a convergence of volatile international politics, the first blooms of environmental responsibility among Portland citizens, and the ideals and ambitions of individual leaders.
This is the legacy of PECI and the 1979 Energy Policy: the beginning of a long lineage of progressive, nation-leading environmental policy. In a world in which neither had existed, Portland would likely not be the city it is today.