Press Release: Oregon Passes Groundbreaking Legislation Requiring 100% Clean Electricity by 2040

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 

Saturday, June 26, 2021

CONTACT: 

Damon Motz-Storey, damon@oregonpsr.org, 303-913-5634 (text, Signal, call)

Press Release: Oregon Passes Groundbreaking Legislation Requiring 100% Clean Electricity by 2040

Rural and community of color-led environmental justice organizations bring labor, clean energy developers, climate and environmental groups, and regulated utilities together to pass historic legislation propelling responsible clean energy development, job creation, and climate action.

[SALEM, OR] — On Oregon’s hottest day in recorded history, the Oregon Senate passed an ambitious bill to transition the state’s electricity to 100% clean energy by 2040 while centering benefits for communities of color and rural, coastal, and low-income communities and workers. The 100% Clean Energy for All bill (House Bill 2021) passed with 16-12 votes. With the passage of this bill, Oregon will have the fastest timeline to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from the electric sector in the United States.

“100% Clean Energy for All is an exciting, ambitious, and achievable policy grounded in justice for communities who have been historically harmed the most by our energy systems,” said Nikita Daryanani, Climate & Energy Policy Manager at the Coalition of Communities of Color in Portland. “We were proud to be a part of convening key stakeholders from so many sectors to reach consensus on this bill. Now, as a result, Oregonians in every part of the state can see major benefits from more clean energy, such as good-quality jobs, community ownership of disaster-resilient solar projects, and less air pollution. We have adopted the fastest clean electricity timeline of any U.S. state with standard-setting opportunities and benefits for workers and the nation’s first ban on new or expanded fossil fuel power plants.”

The bill, which was chief-sponsored by Representative Pam Marsh (D-Ashland) Representative Khanh Pham (D-Portland) and sponsored by a long list of state representatives and senators, will invest $50 million into community-based renewable energy projects to boost community-owned and developed clean energy projects across Oregon, including disaster-resilient solar plus battery and microgrid projects to sustain access to electricity during extreme weather events. HB 2021 was run as a package with the successful Energy Affordability Act (HB 2475) which creates a low-income rate for energy consumers in Oregon passed earlier this session and the Healthy Homes Act (HB 2842) which invests $10 million for low-income home upgrades that reduce energy and improve health outcomes and is expected to pass later today.

The 100% Clean Energy for All bill requires the utilities to establish community benefits and impacts advisory panels, ensures clean energy job training opportunities are maximized for communities of color, rural communities, and low-income communities in Oregon, caps any energy cost increases to ratepayers at no more than 6%, and requires consultation with Federally-Recognized Tribes for clean energy development that could impact their cultural and natural resources.

“100% Clean Energy for All is a huge step forward for environmental justice in Oregon,” said Candace Avalos, Executive Director of Verde, an environmental justice nonprofit based in the Cully neighborhood of Northeast Portland. “Verde works to build environmental wealth and opportunities for Black, Indigenous, people of color, and low-income communities in Portland. With this bill, we’re seeding clean energy opportunities statewide for Oregonians on the front lines of the climate crisis.”

“We hustled side by side with Oregonians from all across the state and made sure their voices were heard. Unity gave us the strength to get this environmental justice victory.” said Joel Iboa, Executive Director of the Oregon Just Transition Alliance, a coalition of environmental justice organizations who launched the campaign to pass HB 2021. “Our communities across Oregon told us the truth in the middle of the pandemic. Our energy policies currently do not serve the needs of Black, Indigenous, people of color, rural, low-income communities, and people with disabilities. When we organize as a collective, when we let our community speak for themselves, we win”

“The Affiliated Tribes of the Northwest Indians is thrilled to see the passage of House Bill 2021, the 100% Clean Energy for All bill,” said Don Sampson, Climate Change Project Director for the Affiliated Tribes of the Northwest Indians and Chief of the Walla Walla Tribe (Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation). “Oregon is leading the way by ensuring Tribes receive the benefits of clean energy projects and including requirements for Tribal consultation on clean energy projects that could impact sites of archeological, traditional, cultural and religious importance. This legislation is significant because it helps safeguard our land and water even as we take action to prevent climate change.”

HB 2021 also requires that new jobs in clean energy projects greater than 10 megawatts in power output be held to comprehensive responsible workforce and contractor standards.

“Oregon’s essential farmworkers and our communities are still recovering from the impacts of COVID-19 and last summer’s wildfires, and already drought and heat waves fueled by climate change are here,” said Reyna Lopez, Executive Director of PCUN (Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noreste), a farmworker union in Woodburn, Oregon. “This 100% Clean Energy for All bill will invest in disaster-resilient community energy projects, support apprenticeships for women, BIPOC, veterans, and people with disabilities, and ensure good wages, benefits, and job training opportunities as Oregon transitions to clean energy. We are thrilled to see HB 2021 head to Governor Brown’s desk and are proud to have organized alongside our partners in the Oregon Just Transition Alliance to achieve this victory.”

“House Bill 2021 is going to help Lake County build upon our growing renewable industry, create good-quality job opportunities, and expand resources for self-contained, locally-owned energy projects,” said Nick Johnson, Executive Director of Lake County Resources Initiative, a Lakeview, OR-based non-profit that supports renewable energy development. “This bill has been well-constructed to support taking full advantage of Oregon’s ample renewable energy resources. We know from experience how transformative these energy projects can be, especially for rural Oregon.”

Along with one of the fastest timelines for emissions free energy in the country, the bill also makes Oregon the first U.S. state to ban new development or expansions of fossil fuel power plants in the state.

“100% Clean Energy for All is an essential piece of environmental justice policy for Oregon,” said Ana Molina, the Statewide Environmental Justice Manager for Beyond Toxics. “Not only will this bill support members of our community who most need jobs and disaster-resilient energy projects, it will also reduce the burden of pollution in communities living near fossil fuel power plants. We are looking forward to continuing to work with our coalition partners to ensure that the needs of rural, coastal, low-income, and Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities are kept central as we make this transition.”

“So many people from all parts of Oregon worked incredibly hard to make 100% Clean Energy for All happen,” said Alessandra de la Torre, who works as an Energy Justice Organizer with Rogue Climate in Southern Oregon. “Last year, Rogue Climate held community meetings in Coos, Klamath, and Jackson Counties to learn what our rural communities want to see in a transition to clean energy. We heard people want community-based energy projects that create good local jobs and affordable energy. HB 2021 is a strong step forward in that direction. In Southern Oregon, we are still rebuilding from last year’s destructive, climate-fueled fires while also bracing for an extremely hot and dry summer, so our communities also know that the clean energy transition has to happen with the urgency that the climate crisis demands.”

“We know that climate change and pollution are disproportionately impacting our Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, and Pacific Islander communities. Therefore, the best solutions are the ones led by our communities, for our communities,” said Eric Richardson, President of the NAACP Eugene-Springfield (Unit #1119). “That’s why we are celebrating a 100% clean electricity standard that tackles climate change and fossil fuel pollution while uplifting Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities to receive the benefits of clean energy and jobs. It’s thanks to the organizing of BIPOC Oregonians across the state that this justice-based bill has succeeded.”

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House Bill 2021 (100% Clean Energy for All) was one of three bills supported by the Oregon Clean Energy Opportunity campaign, whose leadership consists of rural- and BIPOC-led environmental justice groups convened by the Oregon Just Transition Alliance and its members.

Organizations who support HB 2021 include:

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PARA LA PUBLICACIÓN INMEDIATA: 

Sábado 26 de junio 2021

CONTACTO: 

Damon Motz-Storey, damon@oregonpsr.org, 303-913-5634 (mensajes de texto, Signal, llamada)

Oregón aprueba legislación innovadora que  requiere electricidad 100% limpia para 2040

Las organizaciones de justicia ambiental lideradas por comunidades rurales y de color reúnen el sector laboral, las empresas, los grupos climáticos y ambientales, y las empresas de servicios públicos regulados para aprobar una legislación histórica que impulsa el desarrollo responsable de energía limpia, la creación de empleos y la acción climática.

[SALEM, OR] – En el día más caluroso  en la historia registrada de Oregón, el Senado de Oregón aprobó un ambicioso proyecto de ley para hacer la transición de la electricidad del estado a energía 100% limpia para el año 2040, al tiempo que centra los beneficios para las comunidades de color y las comunidades y trabajadores rurales, costeros y de bajos ingresos. El proyecto de ley Energía 100% Limpia para Todxs (Proyecto de la Cámara 2021) fue aprobado con 16-11 votos. Con la aprobación de este proyecto de ley, Oregón tendrá el cronograma más rápido para eliminar las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero del sector eléctrico en los Estados Unidos.

“Energía 100% Limpia para Todxs es una política emocionante, ambiciosa y alcanzable basada en la justicia para las comunidades que históricamente han sido las más dañadas por nuestros sistemas de energía”, dijo Nikita Daryanani, gerente de políticas de clima y energía de la Coalición de Comunidades de Color en Portland. “Estamos orgullosxs de ser parte de la convocatoria de partes interesadas claves de tantos sectores para llegar a un consenso sobre este proyecto de ley. Ahora, como resultado, lxs habitantes de Oregón en todas las partes del estado pueden ver grandes beneficios de más energía limpia, como empleos, propiedad comunitaria de proyectos solares resistentes a desastres y menos contaminación del aire.”

El proyecto de ley, cuyos patrocinadores principales fueron la representante Pam Marsh (D-Ashland), el representante Khanh Pham (D-Portland) con una larga lista de representantes estatales y senadores patrocinadores, invertirá $50 millones en proyectos comunitarios de energía renovable para impulsar proyectos de energía limpia desarrollados por y de propiedad de las comunidades en todo Oregón, incluidos proyectos de microredes y baterías solares resistentes a desastres para mantener el acceso a la electricidad durante eventos climáticos extremos. HB 2021 se promovió como un paquete con la exitosa Ley de Asequibilidad Energética (HB 2475) que crea una tasa de bajos ingresos para los consumidores de energía en Oregon aprobada anteriormente en esta sesión y la Ley de Hogares Saludables (HB 2842) que invierte $10 millones para mejoras en hogares de bajos ingresos que reducen el uso la energía y mejoran los resultados de salud y se espera que se aprueben más tarde hoy.

El proyecto de ley Energía 100% Limpia para Todxs requiere que las empresas de servicios públicos establezcan paneles de asesoramiento sobre beneficios e impactos para la comunidad, garantiza que las oportunidades de capacitación laboral en energía limpia se maximicen para las comunidades de color, comunidades rurales y comunidades de bajos ingresos en Oregon, limita cualquier aumento en el costo de la energía para contribuyentes a no más del 6%, y requiere consulta con tribus reconocidas federalmente para el desarrollo de energía limpia que podría afectar sus recursos culturales y naturales.

“Energía 100% Limpia para Todxs es un gran paso adelante para la justicia ambiental en Oregón”, dijo Candace Avalos, directora ejecutiva de Verde, una organización sin fines de lucro de justicia ambiental con sede en el vecindario de Cully en el noreste de Portland. “Verde trabaja para generar riqueza ambiental y oportunidades para las comunidades BIPOC y de bajos ingresos en Portland. Con este proyecto de ley, estamos sembrando oportunidades de energía limpia en todo el estado para lxs habitantes de Oregón que se encuentran en primera línea de la crisis climática”.

“Nos metimos de lleno a la par de oregonianxs de todo el estado y nos aseguramos de que sus voces fueran escuchadas. La unidad nos dio la fuerza para lograr esta victoria en la justicia ambiental”. dijo Joel Iboa, director ejecutivo de la Alianza por una Transición Justa en Oregón, una coalición de organizaciones de justicia ambiental que lanzaron la campaña para aprobar la HB 2021. “Nuestras comunidades en Oregón nos dijeron la verdad en medio de la pandemia. Nuestras políticas energéticas actualmente no satisfacen las necesidades de las comunidades de personas negras, indígenas, y personas de color, rurales, de bajos ingresos y personas con discapacidades. Cuando nos organizamos como colectivo, cuando dejamos que nuestra comunidad hable por sí misma, ganamos ”

“Las tribus afiliadas de las indígenas del noroeste están encantadas de ver la aprobación del Proyecto de Ley de la Cámara 2021, el proyecto de ley Energía 100% Limpia para Todxs”, dijo Don Sampson, director del proyecto de cambio climático para las tribus afiliadas de los pueblos indígenas del noroeste y jefe del tribu Walla Walla (Tribus Confederadas de la Reserva Indígena Umatilla). “Oregón está liderando el camino al garantizar que las tribus reciban los beneficios de los proyectos de energía limpia e incluye requisitos para la consulta tribal sobre proyectos de energía limpia que podrían afectar sitios de importancia arqueológica, tradicional, cultural y religiosa. Esta legislación es importante porque ayuda a proteger nuestra tierra y agua incluso cuando tomamos acciones para prevenir el cambio climático”.

HB 2021 también requiere que los nuevos empleos en proyectos de energía limpia con una producción energética superior a 10 megavatios se sometan a estándares de fuerza laboral y contratistas integrales y responsables.

“Lxs trabajadores agrícolas esenciales de Oregón y nuestras comunidades aún se están recuperando de los impactos del COVID-19 y los incendios incontrolados del verano pasado, y ya están aquí la sequía y las olas de calor alimentadas por el cambio climático”, dijo Reyna López, Directora Ejecutiva de PCUN (Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noreste), un sindicato de trabajadores agrícolas en Woodburn, Oregón. “Este proyecto de ley Energía 100% Limpia para Todxs invertirá en proyectos de energía comunitaria resistentes a los desastres, apoyará el aprendizaje de mujeres, BIPOC, veteranxs y personas con discapacidades, y garantizará buenos salarios, beneficios y oportunidades de capacitación laboral a medida que Oregón transiciona a energía limpia.  Estamos encantadxs de ver a HB 2021 dirigirse al escritorio de la gobernadora Brown y estamos orgullosxs de habernos organizado junto con nuestrxs socixs en la Alianza por una Transición Justa en Oregón para lograr esta victoria”.

“El Proyecto de Ley 2021 de la Cámara de Representantes ayudará al condado de Lake a aprovechar nuestra creciente industria de energías renovables, crear oportunidades de empleo de buena calidad y ampliar los recursos para proyectos de energía autónomos de propiedad local”, dijo Nick Johnson, director ejecutivo de la Iniciativa de Recursos del Condado de Lake, una organización sin fines de lucro con sede en Lakeview, Oregón, que apoya el desarrollo de energía renovable. “Este proyecto de ley ha sido bien elaborado para apoyar el aprovechamiento completo de los amplios recursos de energía renovable de Oregón. Sabemos por experiencia lo transformadores que pueden ser estos proyectos de energía, especialmente para las zonas rurales de Oregón”.

Junto con uno de los plazos más rápidos para la energía libre de emisiones en el país, el proyecto de ley también convierte a Oregón en el primer estado de EE. UU. en prohibir nuevos desarrollos o expansiones de plantas de energía de combustibles fósiles en el estado.

“Energía 100% Limpia para Todxs es una pieza esencial de la política de justicia ambiental para Oregón”, dijo Ana Molina, gerente estatal de justicia ambiental de Beyond Toxics (Más Allá de los Tóxicos). “Este proyecto de ley no solo apoyará a lxs miembrxs de nuestra comunidad que más necesitan trabajos y proyectos de energía resistentes a los desastres, sino que también reducirá la carga de la contaminación en las comunidades que viven cerca de las plantas de energía de combustibles fósiles. Esperamos seguir trabajando con nuestrxs socixs en la coalición para garantizar que las necesidades de las comunidades rurales, costeras, de bajos ingresos y BIPOC se mantengan en el centro mientras hacemos esta transición”.

“Tantas personas de todas partes de Oregon trabajaron increíblemente duro para hacer que suceda el 100% de Energía Limpia para Todxs”, dijo Alessandra de la Torre, quien trabaja como Organizadora de Justicia Energética con Rogue Climate en el sur de Oregon. “El año pasado, Rogue Climate llevó a cabo reuniones comunitarias en los condados de Coos, Klamath y Jackson para conocer lo que nuestras comunidades rurales quieren ver en una transición hacia la energía limpia. Escuchamos que la gente quiere proyectos de energía basados en la comunidad que creen buenos empleos locales y energía asequible. HB 2021 es un gran paso adelante en esa dirección. En el sur de Oregón, todavía estamos reconstruyendo de los incendios destructivos provocados por el clima del año pasado mientras nos preparamos para un verano extremadamente caluroso y seco, por lo que nuestras comunidades también saben que la transición a la energía limpia tiene que suceder con la urgencia que exige la crisis climática. “

“Sabemos que el cambio climático y la contaminación están afectando de manera desproporcionada a nuestras comunidades negras, indígenas, latinas, asiáticas e isleñas del Pacífico. Por lo tanto, las mejores soluciones son las lideradas por nuestras comunidades, para nuestras comunidades”, dijo Eric Richardson, presidente de la NAACP Eugene-Springfield (Unidad # 1119). “Es por eso que estamos celebrando un estándar de electricidad 100% limpia que aborda el cambio climático y la contaminación por combustibles fósiles al tiempo que eleva a las comunidades de personas BIPOC para que reciban los beneficios de la energía limpia y los empleos. Es gracias a la organización de lxs oregonianxs BIPOC en todo el estado que este proyecto de ley basado en la justicia ha tenido éxito”.

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Proyecto de ley de la Cámara 2021 (Energía 100% Limpia para Todxs) fue uno de los tres proyectos de ley respaldados por la campaña Oportunidades de Energía Limpia de Oregón, cuyo liderazgo consiste en grupos de justicia ambiental lideradas por personas BIPOC y de áreas rurales convocados por la Alianza por una Transición Justa en Oregón.

Las organizaciones que apoyan la HB 2021 incluyen:

Perspective on HB2020: “We Support HB2020 the Clean Energy Jobs Bill”

This blog post was written by 350PDX volunteers on the State Legislation team. Given the broad range of convictions, analyses, and strategies within our community, 350PDX is neutral on HB2020 as an organization, but we encourage our volunteers and supporters to continue to engage in the crucial work of crafting just, ambitious, precedent-setting climate legislation for Oregon.

You can find a companion blog post discussing critiques of HB2020 here.

350PDX State Legislative team and other climate justice groups in Oregon are working together to achieve passage of a strong Clean Energy Jobs bill (HB 2020) that will accomplish these four key objectives:

  1. Legislate a declining cap on greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution and drive down emissions to at least 80% of 1990 levels over the next 30 years.
  2. Make polluters pay for emissions of GHG in our shared atmosphere.
  3. Invest in a just transition to a clean energy future by allocating funds to low income and communities impacted by climate change.
  4. Provide strong, transparent and accessible oversight with representation that ensures geographic and demographic diversity.

HB2020 was developed by some of the most progressive legislators in Oregon, guided by lessons learned from cap and invest programs elsewhere.  The process included a wide array of environmental and social justice groups, members of impacted communities, economists and scientists, public officials, and the general public.  

The proposed HB2020, as sent to the Ways and Means committee will:

  • Raise about $550 million in the initial years, with the majority of the funds to be invested with impacted communities for projects to reduce GHG emissions and support adaptation to climate change;
  • Require all offsets be real, permanent, quantifiable, verifiable, enforceable, in addition to reductions required by law, and at least half of the programs must be in Oregon;
  • Limit use of offsets to 8% of emissions for any entity and ensure that offsets cannot be used by a covered entity in any Oregon community that does not meet established air quality standards;
  • Decrease the number of free allowances by using the ‘best available technology’ standard; and
  • Cover all of road transportation, electric and gas utilities, and industrial sectors. It also mandates study of non-covered sectors including landfills and fuel for airplane, marine and rail locomotives.

Big emitting industries criticize the bill as too much regulation despite economic projections of increased growth resulting from the shift to cleaner energy. Some social justice groups criticize it based on experiences elsewhere where weak caps, low allowance prices and loose offset programs delivered less than hoped for results. Total emissions decreased with these early programs but left some communities with the same or slightly more local emissions. The State Legislation team has watched this bill develop and studied the issues in depth. We see how this bill is different from the earlier versions with a strong declining cap, limited issue of allowances, and controls on pricing and hoarding allowances. Many environmental justice groups around the state participated in work groups and provided advice to the Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction.

In addition to the energy efficiency and bill rebate programs through the utilities, the bill provides specific allocation of the Climate Investment Fund to impacted communities (40%), Tribes (10%) and natural and working lands (20%).  Administration, rule making, and monitoring includes several citizen advisory groups and the Environmental Justice Task Force.

The many benefits that will be achieved with passage of HB2020 far exceed any potential harm. HB2020 will be a key addition to Oregon’s climate legislation, and a national model in progressive cap and invest legislation. It is not a complete solution; there is no single solution for a problem as complex as climate disruption. There will be more work to do.

We will push for the cap decline to ZERO by 2050, as well as a faster decline in free allowances. We must continue to work for additional legislation to stop all new fossil fuel infrastructure in Oregon; to change the State Constitution to divert more transportation funds to public and electric transportation; and to develop statewide legislation to significantly increase carbon stored by forests and agricultural lands.

Passing a strong HB 2020 is a good next step in the plan to reduce GHG emissions to net zero. This bill gives us a framework to improve as public will and momentum grows. Community oversight is built into the program, and will be essential. We will need to protect the declining cap on climate pollution when this law is challenged through the referendum process and assaulted by fossil fuel companies who want to see us fail. We have spent many years getting to this point; now more than ever we need to rally together and act with ongoing commitment and resolve.

The latest IPCC report gives only 10 years to get climate pollution under control, and we cannot afford to wait several more years for “better” legislation.

350PDX State Legislation Team / Capping Carbon Campaign

Perspective on HB2020: “We Oppose Harmful and Ineffective Offsets and Allowances Trading”

This blog post was co-produced by Khanh Pham with OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon and Adam Brunelle, a 350PDX Board Member. Given the broad range of convictions, analyses, and strategies within our community, 350PDX is neutral on HB2020 as an organization, but we encourage our volunteers and supporters to continue to engage in the crucial work of crafting just, ambitious, precedent-setting climate legislation for Oregon.

You can find a companion blog post in support of HB2020 here.

To our friends and allies in 350PDX,

We are deeply grateful to you for hearing us. When the 350PDX board chose to remain neutral on House Bill 2020, we felt that someone in the climate movement was finally acknowledging that important disagreements exist, and that frontline communities around the country and world believe we can and must do better.

Let us remember what we all agree upon. We share the urgency of the moment with all of you. Every one of us is terrified about the signs of climate breakdown. The warnings get worse, the impacts have been here for decades and now are undeniable, and there’s no national leadership on climate. But we must not let our sense of urgency turn to desperation to accept anything- especially not ineffective, false solutions. The economists behind carbon trading make bold claims that are not supported by the evidence or the experience of our communities.

HB2020 allows polluters to continue polluting by gaming the system. California’s carbon trading law, already 6 years old, has not done much at all to reduce emissions. 350 shouldn’t support an approach that fails to reach its emissions reduction goals. But beyond carbon reductions, there is also great potential for harm from carbon trading. Richmond, California’s refinery-impacted Black community members have seen emissions in their backyards rise under carbon trading. Refineries are pouring more carbon into the air than they were a decade ago. The health of Black people in Richmond is further decimated as a result. These frontline communities don’t support HB2020’s trading regime.

Replicating California’s harmful failure would be irresponsible. The world is watching Oregon. If we repeat their mistakes we set a bad example for Washington and everywhere else. Our fear, and the fear of international communities watching who signed the letter opposing HB2020, is that legislators replicate a system of offsets, allowances, and trading proven ineffective in California, and then declare victory.

What we learned from the Portland Clean Energy Fund campaign, which we won with nearly 2/3 of voters in favor, is that holding major corporations accountable and funding a transition to clean energy is possible, and voters will support it. The business community cried foul over PCEF for the exact reason it was so popular: it actually holds big businesses accountable.

A working proposal should include a diminishing cap. Polluters should pay for the harm their pollution causes, reduce pollution, and fund direct investments to frontline communities. Carbon regimes relying on trading, offsets, and allowances are unjust, ineffective and harmful. The negative impacts, potential for manipulation, and failure to reduce pollution tell us that carbon trading is the wrong approach to achieve climate justice here or anywhere. We have done our research to offer a list of resources for readers to better understand our position. We invite 350PDX members to engage with these resources so we can work toward a shared understanding of climate justice. Take action to support our position here.

Thank you,

Khanh Pham, OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon

Adam Brunelle, 350PDX Board Member

 

Board Statement on HB2020

The Clean Energy Jobs bill, HB2020, has generated much debate and dramatically divergent opinions, both within the Oregon climate community and within 350PDX. Our allies, our staff, and our volunteers are sharply divided: some argue that the bill represents an important and realistic step forward, while others hold that its provisions are both inadequate and unjust.

After weeks of discussion and consultation, 350PDX’s Board of Directors has decided not to take an organizational position on HB2020. This decision represents a consensus of the board, as informed by meetings of the organization’s leadership. We believe that our formal organizational neutrality on this issue is both necessary and accurate, given the broad range of convictions, analyses, and strategies within our community.

Many of our volunteers have poured countless hours over a number of years into making HB2020 a reality. We are grateful for the dedication of our State Legislative Team, and we hope they continue their important work to strengthen the bill. At the same time, we fully acknowledge and deeply appreciate the dissenting views of those within our organization and among our allies that oppose this legislation.

As we build a diverse, grassroots movement, we recognize — and celebrate! — that 350PDX is not a monolith. We are a volunteer-driven organization. Volunteer energy gets the work done and makes us strong. We want to continue to foster that energy and to support this organization as a vehicle for a wide range of ideas and strategies to take on the climate crisis.

We also want to acknowledge that the endorsement process around this bill — or, rather, lack of clear process — has been acutely painful for many of our key volunteers and for our staff. The past several months have been emotionally fraught and for some frankly agonizing. We’re grateful for the honesty, vulnerability, and passion that our community has brought to this question, and we hope that a formal position of neutrality will now allow us to move forward together on the many fronts of our important work.

We intend to continue the dialogue around HB2020 as well, and will be inviting both proponents and opponents of the bill to share their reasoning with our community. We believe that when we embrace our differences with empathy and courage, they can in fact make us stronger.

We are neutral on HB2020 as an organization, but we encourage our volunteers and supporters to continue to engage in the crucial work of crafting just, ambitious, precedent-setting climate legislation for Oregon. In addition to this statement, we will be sending out some guidelines to help our volunteers communicate about our neutral position with allies and legislators.

We are not neutral in our commitment to building a diverse grassroots movement to address the causes of climate disruption through justice-based solutions. That is our mission, and — although we may sometimes disagree on how best to realize it — our community is united behind it.

You can read some of the views of our community on the 350PDX blog, in support here and in opposition here.

Clean Energy Jobs Lobby Day 2019

CLEAN ENERGY JOBS LOBBY DAY & NOON RALLY Oregon State Capitol, Salem Feb. 6TH, 2019 9 am – 4 pm THE BILL Clean Energy Jobs is a policy to put a limit and price on climate pollution from the largest polluters in the state. It will secure greenhouse gas reductions and reinvestment into communities across […]

Update: Capping Carbon Campaign

Please join us for a Interim-Lobby Day, September 25th, 9am in Salem, at Saint Mark Lutheran Church, 790 Marion St NE, Salem, OR 97301, (car-pools to be arranged). You will be able to meet with your Legislators as scheduled between 10 and 12. Then join us for the Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction meeting in the Capitol from 1 – 4pm. This Committee, chaired by Senate President Peter Courtney and House Speaker Tina Kotek, has been meeting monthly and will be developing state wide legislation to:

  • Put a cap on carbon pollution and make polluters pay for their greenhouse gas emissions
  • Invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency to ensure a just transition to clean energy.

Read more

Putting a Price on Greenhouse Gases in Oregon: an Update

Great progress was made in the short Legislative session. Portland is lucky to have as climate champions in the Oregon Legislature, Senator Michael Dembrow, and Representative Ken Helm who have moved the Clean Energy Jobs bill ever closer to the finish line. Below is a quote from Sen. Dembrow that summarizes well where things stand now:

“The 2018 Legislative Session generated the kind of grassroots support we’ve been dreaming of for years. We had another incredible round of hearings early in the session with an enormous amount of outside advocacy, including more than 500 Oregonians from all over the state descending on the Capitol for a lobby day on February 12. Oregon’s tribes voted to support the legislation and came to the Capitol to show support. Nike formally joined the business organizations supporting the legislation, as have many other Oregon businesses and farms. Scores of high school students and even younger children have been roaming the halls calling on us as adults to take action to secure a better future for them and their peers.”

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Rally and Lobby Day in Salem for the Clean Energy and Jobs Bill

On March 23rd over 300 activists rallied on the steps of the Capitol in support of the Clean Energy and Jobs Bill, SB 557. Senator Michael Dembrow, chair of the Senate’s Natural Resources and Environment Committee spoke to the gathered activists and encouraged us to let our legislators know that we care deeply about the need to put a price on carbon pollution. He said that leadership on the climate in Oregon is more important than ever as climate deniers have taken on key roles throughout the Executive Branch and Congress too is controlled by climate deniers.

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State Legislation Update

The Capping Carbon Campaign is well underway. Our initial goal set back in the summer of 2016 was to ensure that all Portland area legislators are climate champions. We organized meetings between constituents and their Representatives and Senators and have met with most of our legislators. These meetings have been very positive. All the legislators we met with support strong climate legislation. We are especially fortunate to have as a champion Senator Michael Dembrow, who is the Chair of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, where Senate Bill 557, the Clean Energy and Jobs bill, was introduced.

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