PORTLAND, OR- The bill to lift the sunset on the Clean Fuels Program, SB 324, was approved by the Oregon Senate today by a vote of 17-13. The program is key for Oregon to meet its climate goals and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation fuels by 10% over ten years. Tailpipe emissions are the main source of carbon pollution and also harm air quality, contributing to health problems such as asthma, cancer and cardiovascular disease.
“Cleaner fuels are essential for the health of every Oregonian and the health of Oregon itself,” noted Andrea Durbin, executive director of the Oregon Environmental Council. “The Oregon Clean Fuels Program will reduce climate pollution by more than 7 million metric tons, equivalent to 37,500 railcars full of coal. This program is good for Oregon’s economy, creates jobs and cleans up our air.”
Doug Moore, executive director of the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, stated, “This is an important day for Oregonians. The Clean Fuels Program not only helps our economy by creating a demand for local fuel production, keeping money in the state, but also reduces air pollutants which disproportionately affect our most vulnerable community members.”
The bill will now move to the House of Representatives. If passed, it will be the first environmental bill signed into law by incoming Governor Kate Brown.
The Clean Fuels Program is endorsed by nearly 150 small and large businesses; economic development entities; a myriad of organizations that support consumers, workers, farmers, and community health; as well as thousands of Oregonians. Standing-room only public hearings have been full of individuals eager to give public testimony in support of the program, which could save Oregonians as much as $1.6 billion in fuel costs and create thousands of jobs. The Clean Fuels Program could generate as much as $2.1 billion in Gross State Product, keeping money in the state by creating jobs needed to manufacture clean fuels in Oregon.