PRESS RELEASE:  For Immediate Release
DATE:  October 7 2019
CONTACT: Alan Journet, Co-facilitator, Southern Oregon Climate Action Now; 541-301-4107
SUBJECT:  Confronting Climate Change in 2020

State action is long overdue but next year will see a two-pronged effort to achieve climate pollution reduction. 

Not only do we expect the Legislature to consider a proposal to target pollution reduction, we will also see Ballot Measures serving similar goals. 

Just last month millions of young people across the planet rallied to demand that we protect the climate to afford them a future.  Hundreds rallied in Southern Oregon, joined by many older Oregonians equally concerned about the future. Not surprisingly, young Oregonians want as livable a plant as we older folks have enjoyed.  What they, and we, all know is that we face a crisis.  Action is urgently needed if we are to avert the destructive consequences of our current climate pollution trajectory.  We know that by 2035 we must take huge steps to change this trajectory and by 2050, we need to have achieved net zero emissions of greenhouse gases, meaning we emit only as much as the planet naturally can capture and sequester.

If we care about our children and their children, we must act with urgency.

For many years, efforts within Salem and across the state have been underway to persuade the Oregon Legislature to enact meaningful climate pollution reduction legislation.  In 2007, the state approved a voluntary program to reduce our climate pollution, but we are not on a path to achieving the goals established back then.  We now need to take serious action to reduce this climate pollution.  Fortunately, we can do so with a program that will allow substantial investment in rural Oregon and promote economic recovery for rural Oregonians. Oregon Legislative leaders have committed to bringing forth a proposal in the 2020 session that would place Oregon on a climate pollution reduction path, and would provide funds to invest in Oregon’s future.  It’s time to look ahead not back; it’s time to ask what we can do to support our kids and grand-kids.  

While we totally support legislative efforts, we also recognize that some members of our legislature are committed to a future that fails to meet our climate pollution reduction requirements.  They walked out of the Senate and the state in 2019 preventing a vote on a strong bill and might try to thwart action in 2020. 

Because we cannot count on Legislative Action, the statewide coalition is proposing Ballot Measures that will launch the state on a course to achieve meaningful climate pollution reduction. 

Look for the following two Ballot Measure in 2020:

  • 100% Clean Economy

Oregon already has targets for reducing climate pollution, but we’re not meeting them. This measure will update and enforce Oregon’s targets to align with what scientists tell us we have to achieve. With reliable, clean technology like wind and solar power, we can cut Oregon’s pollution in half by 2035, and be a 100% clean economy by 2050.

Some Oregon businesses, cities, and farms are already investing in carbon-free technology, but it’s not happening quickly enough. Oregon is falling behind, and our climate pollution is increasing. We need to update and enforce our climate pollution targets to keep pace.

This measure will bring more investment to Oregon, create good paying jobs that can’t be outsourced, and higher incomes in Oregon’s rural economies. Rural Oregon has massive potential for wind and solar energy.

Why continue to invest in a fossil fuel economy that pollutes Oregon’s air and sends more children to the hospital with heart and lung conditions? Reliable, clean energy and clean cars will save Oregonians money in the long term and make more resilient, healthy communities.

  • 100% Clean Electricity

This measure commits Oregon’s electricity to come from 100% clean, affordable and reliable sources by 2045, and 100% clean electricity is the backbone of a clean energy economy. As we electrify everything from cars and trucks to home heating and industrial manufacturing, our electricity must be the cleanest it can be.

Seven states already have commitments to 100% clean electricity including our West Coast neighbors. Oregon can’t afford to fall behind. More than one in four Americans lives in a state or community committed to 100% clean electricity.

Wind and solar are already cost-competitive with fossil fuels and getting cheaper every day. We already have the technology to make the transition to reliable, affordable, clean energy.

This measure will bring more investment to Oregon, create good paying jobs that can’t be outsourced, and higher incomes in Oregon’s rural economies. Rural Oregon has massive potential for wind and solar energy. Our state has already benefited from more than $10 billion worth of renewable energy projects.

Southern Oregon Climate Action Now will be encouraging the legislature to pass climate reduction legislation in 2020 and supporting the Ballot Measures.