Nov 05, 2017

From Pendleton to Coos Bay and Portland to Medford, hundreds of Oregonians in 13 cities simultaneously amplified support this month for the Clean Energy Jobs bill, as it builds momentum toward the 2018 legislative session.

More than 300 people, who attended the Clean Energy Jobs’ Day of Action on Nov. 4 (video), found themselves in homes, college campuses, businesses and on the steps of an Eastern Oregon city hall.

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The electric atmosphere from the statewide events sparked new interest with dozens of people signing up to volunteer and show their support. We shared lunch and dessert, listened to music and made signs to share them on social media while listening to our state leaders who are proposing innovative legislation.

“I’ve got grandchildren on the way,” said attendee John Pitney from a home in McMinnville, “and I will not be the grandfather who has to explain to those grandchildren why I didn’t do everything possible while we had time.”

The Day of Action was filled with hope for the future as global warming looms. Different weather patterns are drying up our land leaving growing vulnerability to wildfires and threatening family farms. The Clean Energy Jobs program looks to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to create new jobs in clean energy, infrastructure, and forest and land management that will reduce the impacts of climate change.

Last summer, lawmakers created SB 1070, the legislative framework that is the Clean Energy Jobs bill today. The proposed program would price pollution from around 100 of the largest emitters in the state. Proceeds collected, to the tune of $700 million a year, will be reinvested in our communities, especially the most vulnerable to climate change and struggling economically.

Oregon has already shown the great potential of innovative jobs. Investment in renewable electricity alone in our state, like solar and wind, has directly created 5,300 jobs and indirectly supports thousands of additional jobs. And there’s so much more to clean energy than just renewables. Overall, more than 48,000 Oregonians work in the clean and green economy and they produce $7 billion in goods and services. Imagine what major new investment could do!

“We can cap and slash greenhouse gas pollution … in this state in a way that will not hurt our economy; that will in fact allow Oregon to benefit from cutting our reliance on fossil fuels imported from other states and other countries; that will create thousands of jobs in the clean economy, restore the health of our forests, and direct investments to the rural parts of the state and to those low-income Oregonians of all ethnicities and backgrounds who have historically been excluded from the table,” said Sen. Michael Dembrow, Chair of the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee and a chief sponsor of the bill. “We are going to create legislation where they are going to be at the table.”

To support Clean Energy Jobs, sign the petition and share your voice along with more than 12,000 of your fellow Oregonians.