The legislative session started last week, and that means it’s time to take action, and start crafting a better future for Oregon. This session may be a little different—weeks after an attempted coup at the nation’s Capitol, and a break-in at the Oregon Capitol, and during a pandemic—but we’ve elected lawmakers who are ready to fight alongside us to build a healthier and more equitable future for the people of Oregon.
Today, we’re getting started by announcing our 2021 Priorities for a Healthy Oregon. These four priorities—selected in partnership with the 30+ environmental groups in the Oregon Conservation Network (OCN)—will make a big difference in protecting Oregon’s people and places. Will you send an email to your lawmakers and ask them to support our OCN Priorities for a Healthy Oregon?
The Oregon Clean Energy Opportunity (a package of three bills led by Verde and other environmental justice groups)
- 100% Clean Energy for All (HB 2995) would transition Oregon to 100% clean energy within the next few decades, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create new jobs in clean energy.
- Healthy Homes (HB 2842) would help low-income families improve air-quality and energy efficiency in their homes.
- The Oregon Energy Affordability Act (HB 2475) would make energy bills more affordable for low-income families.
Smart Wildfire Policy
In response to last summer’s disastrous wildfires, groups in the Oregon Conservation Network will support bills that use the State’s limited resources to best protect lives and property and to support the recovery of communities decimated by the Labor Day fires––including support for mapping the areas most likely to be affected by wildfire in the future so we can build back better, restore and protect drinking water sources, and ensure affordable housing is part of the recovery plan.
Disbanding the Oregon Forest Resources Institute (HB 2357)
For years, the Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) has been using millions in public funding to make the timber industry look more sustainable than it is, using propaganda to cover up the dangerous effects of logging on drinking water and wildlife habitat. HB 2357 would disband OFRI and redirect its public funding to scientifically sound sustainable forest restoration and management practices.
Due to budget cuts, many of the programs we’ve fought to pass in previous sessions are already struggling to hire staff to do the important work they need to do: we can’t afford to cut the budget even further. There needs to be room in the budget to give natural resource agencies the funding they need to protect our air and water, public lands, and our communities.
Will you ask your lawmakers to support our 2021 OCN Priorities for a Healthy Oregon? This year, we have the chance to transition Oregon to a clean energy future, stand up for our forests, help communities affected by wildfire, and protect our natural resources. Let’s make sure these bills pass in 2021!