In the absence of meaningful action at the federal level, numerous state and local communities are stepping up to the plate to address climate change. The Portland Clean Energy Fund is one example of this important work. The Portland Clean Energy Fund ballot initiative is currently in the signature gathering phase to make the November 2018 ballot. What would this fund do and how would it be funded?
From the Portland Clean Energy Fund website, the fund “is a story about us creating our own clean energy future.” About half of the money will go to renewable energy and energy efficiency programs, with funds also supporting clean energy jobs training, regenerative agriculture and green infrastructure programs that result in the sequestration of greenhouse gases. As we transition away from fossil fuels to a renewable energy economy, the Portland Clean Energy Fund will help ensure that all Portlanders receive benefits and investments in climate change resilience. A significant percentage of these funds are required to support those that are most impacted by the effects of climate change, including low-income residents and communities of color.
The measure would be funded through a 1% business license surcharge on large retailers. These are corporations with over $1 billion in annual gross revenue nationally and over $500,000 in the City of Portland. According to PCEF, “revenue from groceries and medicine would be exempted.” The website also notes that these corporations “have the longest supply trains, and don’t account for greenhouse gases in the production and distribution of their products.” For more info, you can visit their website.
There are many opportunities to sign the petition to get PCEF on the ballot. You can stop by the campaign headquarters at the Oregon Sierra Club office (1821 SE Ankeny St., Portland). Their office opens on weekdays at 9:00 am (until 5 or 7 PM depending on the day). You can also visit 350pdx’s office in Central Lutheran Church (1820 NE 21st Ave., Portland). Call ahead at (503) 281-1485 to make sure we’re here. Also, signature gatherers will be at many local events, so keep an eye out. For more information, go here.
Author: Brent Swanson