Oregon’s Clean Air and Water Protections Hang in the Balance this Election

In Election by OLCVstaff

Yesterday, Governor Kate Brown announced plans to lead the nation by enshrining into law the federal environmental standards of the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act that were in place the day before President Donald Trump took office. Brown’s proposed Oregon Environmental Protection Act will protect our clean air and water from any rollbacks at the federal level. With growing attacks from President Trump’s administration — from pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement to rollbacks to the Obama-era Clean Power Plan to proposed repeal of the Clean Water Rule — we need strong leadership in our state now more than ever.

Republican Knute Buehler is trying to greenwash his image now that he’s running for statewide office, but when voters look at his record as a state legislator, it’s clear he poses a danger to our air, water, land, and the health of our environment. Buehler voted against reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles and refused to protect the state’s public lands. His record of opposing Oregon’s environmental protections has earned him a failing “F” lifetime rating from the Oregon League of Conservation Voters (OLCV).

When voters look at Buehler’s proposals for Oregon, there’s a lot missing. Critically, protections for clean air and water, steps to fight climate change, and preserving our public lands are all almost nonexistent from Buehler. What little can be found is even worse – seemingly designed by big industry, Buehler is a strong supporter of the Jordan Cove LNG pipeline and even claims fracked gas is clean energy.

Buehler has even taken thousands of dollars from corporate polluters, including $75,000 from Entek, which has released air pollution linked to employees’ health problems, and $200,000 from ActionPAC, which is run by the chairman of Esco, one of Portland’s top-five polluters. It’s clear these corporations see an ally in Buehler, and that should make Oregonians very worried.

“Our clean air and water hang in the balance this election,” said Doug Moore, executive director of the Oregon League of Conservation Voters (OLCV). Moore continued, “Voters need to know that Republican State Rep. Knute Buehler has a long record in lockstep with the Republican Party’s anti-environment agenda and he continues to align himself with some of the biggest polluters in the state.”