The Healthy Climate Bill would limit climate pollution and account for its cost in Oregon, accelerating the transition to clean energy and creating a healthier future for our children.
In 2007, the Oregon Legislature enacted ambitious climate pollution reduction goals to protect our clean air, safeguard our shellfish and tourism industries, and reduce Oregon’s contribution to climate change, drought, and severe weather.
But Oregon is not on track to meet these goals. To reduce climate pollution to 75% below 1990 levels by 2050, Oregon needs an enforceable, economy-wide climate policy. Only a comprehensive policy that leads to a safe, affordable clean energy future will protect those hardest hit by the effects of climate change—our rural areas and industries, low-income communities, and communities of color.
Accounting For the Cost of Pollution
As individuals, we do our part to protect Oregon, from recycling to car inspections to paying for trash pickup. We should expect polluters to show the same level of responsibility. Enforcing our existing limits on climate pollution and putting a price on this pollution will hold polluters accountable while helping to grow the local clean energy economy with good paying jobs for Oregonians.
Clean Air, Good Jobs, Healthy Climate
The Healthy Climate Bill would limit pollution from dirty, outdated fuels and ensure investment in clean, affordable, locally made energy, such as energy from the wind and sun. A clean energy future will improve our state’s economy and create high-paying jobs. New jobs in the clean energy economy can’t be outsourced because the work has to be done here at home.
The Healthy Climate Bill Would:
Require the state to achieve its legislatively adopted climate goals (ORS 468A.205).
Require the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to limit carbon pollution and create a market-based program to meet those limits.
Invest in local jobs, rural communities and clean air solutions.
Require the program to:
Ensure the most cost-effective strategies.
Target investments in economically disadvantaged communities (including rural communities, communities of color, and low-income communities).
Allow the program flexibility to link to market-based programs in other jurisdictions.
Who supports this bill?
In the 2015 legislative session, statewide and local climate organizations joined 55 businesses from throughout Oregon, the Coalition of Communities of Color, numerous local elected officials, people of faith, young people and hundreds of Oregonians to encourage elected officials to enforce climate pollution reduction goals adopted by legislators. Those supporters, plus an ever-growing coalition, will return in 2016 with an urgent call to pass meaningful legislation to accomplish the same goal.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Healthy Climate Bill:
Will this bill help Oregon?
By limiting carbon pollution, the legislature can decrease pollution and create incentives to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy. Part of the proceeds can be used to help Oregonians invest in energy retrofits for homes and businesses, renewable energy like solar and wind, and transportation improvements that cut the cost of energy and transportation for Oregonians. Additionally, the bill will include provisions for low-income and rural Oregonians, who are disproportionately impacted by climate change.
Will this bill help rural Oregon?
Yes. In other jurisdictions, proceeds from a cap on carbon pollution have led to investments in low-carbon freight technology, dairy farm energy projects, and forest research. Investments have also been used to protect rural communities from wildfires and extreme weather.
What’s at risk?
Our health: Climate change represents a major threat to the quality of life for all Oregonians: increased risk of heat-related illness and death, spread of disease, and increased asthma. The young and elderly, low-income, communities of color, and people living in industrial areas experience these impacts more acutely. Transitioning to clean energy will create healthier families and communities.
Our natural resources: Our natural resources are particularly at risk. Warm winters means less snow in the mountains. Lower snowpack means freshwater shortages for our farmers in the summer and hotter and shallower water in rivers that causes millions of salmon and other fish to die. Wildfires ravage our forests and grasslands. Increasing ocean acidification and warmer ocean water impacts our shellfish and fishing industries. By passing the Healthy Climate Bill, Oregon will do our part to reverse the trend and protect against these risks.