Ensure a habitable planet by reducing all greenhouse gas emissions to zero as soon as possible, fostering agriculture and forestry practices that maximize carbon sequestration and increasing resilience in our built and natural environment, while achieving a just transition to an economy based on renewables.
Bills We’re Working On:
HB 2020 – Clean Energy Jobs (Last updated March 2019)
We need everyone’s help to ensure we pass the strongest, most effective Clean Energy Jobs bill possible. The fossil fuel industry has been highly successful with its fear mongering. Their lies, especially in rural areas, have convinced many that their fuel costs will skyrocket. Media ads against the bill are also galvanizing the opposition. We cannot compete with fossil fuel’s deep pockets; we can rely on our grassroots to raise a loud voice in support of making polluters pay.
We need to flood our legislators with personal letters, emails and phone calls throughout March. Even if you have contacted your legislators in the past, please contact them again as the month of March is critical. Here is a link if you need to determine who your legislator is or need their contact information: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov
Over the past few weeks the Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction held public hearings around the state They heard residents from around the state speak for and against HB 2020. You can review testimony in Meeting Materials by date on the Joint Committee pages in OLIS.
The most important message to your legislators needs to be: don’t let the fossil fuel industry weaken HB 2020. We need to make this bill stronger!
Below are the improvements we encourage you to raise in your communications with your legislators to make the Clean Energy Jobs bill stronger:
Cap emissions at 55% reduction from 1990 by 2035 and 100% reduction from 1990 by 2050
Limit the total share of free allowances to no more than 25%
Allow No Offsets. Agriculture and Forestry emission reductions should be the focus of separate legislation
Ensure a decision-making structure that is transparent, equitable, and accountable.
Ensure Impacted Communities are represented on the Program Advisory Committee and the Environmental Justice Task Force
Strengthen the decision-making power of these two committees
Ensure strong guidelines and oversight of Transportation Decarbonization Investment Account
No exemptions or EITE status for new fossil fuel infrastructure
No exemption for fluorinated gases from the semiconductor industry
No exemption for municipal waste incineration
Limit free allowances for electric utilities to only those reductions resulting from the RPS and Coal to Clean Programs
Promote specific allocations of funding for the Climate Investment Fund and Just Transition Fund
Promote a benchmark for EITE’s based on 80% of sector-average emissions per unit
Maintain the provision that revenues from sale of free allowance can only be used to strengthens existing utility-based EE & RE and low-income rebate programs
If Offsets are allowed, ensure that emitters cannot use them in areas with poor air quality, and promote a strong Protocol Advisory Committee to stringently oversee offset programs to ensure they are additive, verifiable, and effective
Write a letter (or make a phone call or send a personal email) to your Senator and Representative. The listen to their constituents!
If you don’t know who your State Representative or Senator is, you can look them up here
Sample Letter to your Legislator
We strongly encourage you to make this a handwritten letter. Use your own words and keep to one page.
Dear Representative/Senator _____________,
Start by introducing yourself and that you are a constituent, e.g.
I live in the xxx neighborhood and as one of your constituents I am writing you about an issue that deeply concerns me, the climate crisis.
Address some of the threats associated with the climate crisis. Use some of the following and personalize these as much as possible:
We know that the weather is becoming more severe and extreme – we have a moral obligation to protect our children from these increasing threats.
Droughts are becoming longer at the same time as storms are becoming stronger. Here in the Northwest snow on our mountains is melting earlier resulting in less water in the summer.
Wildfires are becoming more intense and fire seasons longer putting more communities at risk and of course adding to the increase of greenhouse gases.
Ocean acidification is increasingly a serious problem. Willapa Bay oysters are unable to reproduce. Reefs across the world are dying.
Salmon across the Northwest are at risk as rivers are projected to warm to such an extent that they will be un-inhabitable for salmon.
Nine of the last ten years have been the hottest on record according to NASA and NOAA. These higher temperatures are leading to more asthma and other respiratory problems especially among children.
Experts agree strongly that the best way to address all these many threats to our children, our health, our environment, is to put a price on carbon.
In your letter stress urgency, and emphasize that the price of inaction far outweighs investments in solutions
Next discuss solutions,e.g.
I urge you to to support strong legislation in this session that will put a cap on carbon and lead to needed investments in increased energy efficiency, and increased reliance on renewable sources of energy.
Use any of the following to point out solutions that will address the climate crisis:
We need to hold those who are polluting our atmosphere with greenhouse gases accountable. Many years of real world experience demonstrate that economies actually thrive when the polluters pay. As one example, California has been doing this for years and has added more jobs than other states.
A cap and invest program would enable Oregon to gradually reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lead to investments in efficiency and clean energy. Right now we are sending millions of dollars to out of state fossil fuel companies. We need to instead put that money to work here on clean energy solutions and jobs.
We need state government to help us address the climate crisis. Just as communities hire firefighters for prevention and fire fighting, we need help with companies that are now dumping their greenhouse gases into our atmosphere as if it were an open sewer. We expect government to be responsive and effective in solving these kinds of terrible problems.
We need to also be sure that rural and dis-advantaged communities are not harmed by the solutions needed. Research by PSU shows that in fact rural Oregonians will pay less than urban folks and benefit most from polluter pay programs through job creation and wage increases.
Conclude by summarizing and thanking your Legislator for giving this issue their attention and concern, e.g.
Oregon has often taken the lead in addressing major environmental problems by passing legislation like the Bottle Bill and Statewide Comprehensive Land Use Planning. We need to once again be a leader in tackling the climate crisis. Please do all that you can to help us cap and reduce greenhouse gases over time. We know that when the polluters pay they will then do their part to protect Oregon. We have the ingenuity, knowhow and workforce; we just need the political will.