Now is the time for bold action on climate

By Celeste Meiffren-Swango
State Director

Starting next week, the Oregon legislature will be considering Senate Bill 1507 and House Bill 4001, collectively known as "Clean Energy Jobs." This is a great opportunity to take bold action on climate change-- and what better time? Last year, President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement while his administration has taken steps to undo the Clean Power Plan, taking us backwards in the fight against the changing climate.

With so much at stake, and our window to stave off the worst impacts of climate change steadily closing, it's up to states like Oregon to take the lead. 

"Clean Energy Jobs" would put a hard limit on pollution in Oregon, forcing emissions down over time, and make polluters pay, providing funding for programs that will help Oregon reduce and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Specifically, the proposal:

  • Places a limit and price on carbon pollution for the largest polluters in the state—emitters of 25,000 tons or more of greenhouse gases per year. Sets a goal of 80% global warming emission reduction below 1990 levels by 2050. 
  • Puts Oregon in compliance with the Paris Accord, the internationally agreed upon limits we need to place on carbon to maintain a safe environment for our kids and grandkids.
  • The proceeds—projected to be at least $700 million per year— will be reinvested in clean energy solutions in Oregon like affordable solar, energy efficient homes and businesses, transportation, electric vehicles, and healthier communities.

This type of program is a proven way to take a bite out of dangerous pollution. For example, nine Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states from Maryland to Maine just strengthened a similar program to cut emissions from power plants.[1] The new rules will cut pollution in the Northeast by at least two-thirds below 2005 levels by 2030, generate billions of dollars to fund important clean energy programs, and provide widespread benefits for people.[2]

There's no time to waste. To achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, we have to zero out pollution globally within a matter of decades.[3] Oregon should lead the way.

Environment Oregon is working to organize students, our members and thousands of other Oregonians about this campaign and demonstrate to lawmakers that Oregonians are ready for bold actions in the fight against climate change. 

We only have until March 11th to get this bill passed. Please send an email to your legislators to show your support for strong action on climate:

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[1] "Northeast states crack down on global warming pollution with new power plant rules," Environment America, 19 December 2017.

[2] "Doubling Down on Climate Progress," Environment America, 29 March 2017.

[3] Christiana Figueres, et al. "Three years to safeguard our climate," Nature, 28 June 2017.