Oregon Capitol building with pink flowers in front.

OCN Announces 2018 Legislative Priority

In Issues, Press Release by OLCVstaff

The Oregon Conservation Network (OCN), a coalition of nearly 40 organizations throughout the state, is pleased to announce Clean Energy Jobs as our only 2018 legislative priority. For this year’s legislative session, OCN is committed helping pass the Clean Energy Jobs legislation. Last year, OCN had six legislative priorities, including Clean Energy Jobs.

“We are making progress when it comes to the environment, and I’m glad that in this session we can focus our efforts on passing such crucial legislation. Climate change is the defining issue of our time and will impact millions of people. Fighting it should be everyone’s priority,” said OCN’s director Paige Spence.

Clean Energy Jobs is a smart solution to carbon pollution. It invests in clean energy solutions and creates opportunities for urban and rural Oregonians while protecting our truly special natural environment.

“Oregon’s rules to protect our forests and water resources lag behind our neighboring states in important ways making our fish and wildlife particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of climate change.  We’re cautiously optimistic that this bill will allow Oregon to both fight climate change and to invest in the protection of cold water and healthy forests in which diverse and resilient fish and wildlife populations and a vibrant economy depend.”  Chandra Ferrari, Oregon Senior Policy Advisor for OCN member group Trout Unlimited.

The coalition has always prioritized addressing issues like climate change, so the announcement of Clean Energy Jobs as the priority for 2018 is representative of the Network’s commitment to ensuring a better Oregon for future generations.

“Climate change is a public health emergency. We can improve human health by addressing its causes,” stated Dr. Pat O’Herron, Board President of Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, another OCN member organization. “Crafting effective climate legislation must be done with careful attention to detail. Health professionals call for zero or minimal carbon offsets, no expensive, toxic nuclear power, and robust, reliable equity mechanisms. We will do everything in our power to pass a strong Clean Energy Jobs bill that protects the most vulnerable in our communities, facilitates a just transition, and holds polluters accountable.”

Oregon first started pricing carbon emissions in 1997. While very limited in scope, our state established the first mandatory price on CO2 emissions in the U.S.

OCN Director Spence was quick to emphasize how long in the making this latest legislation is. “We have been working on carbon pricing for over a decade, and Clean Energy Jobs is really the culmination of a long effort to make sure all stakeholders have been included. It is a policy that will result in positive impacts for our economy and our environment.”

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