Jul 07, 2017

Most Lincoln County residents agree that the need for jobs on the Central Oregon Coast is an important concern that needs solving. Most local scientists, residents and elected officials believe that climate change is already affecting our region and will likely increase. Climate pollution effects on health costs due to severe weather are expected to cost Oregonian families $1,930 per year by 2020.

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 The cumulative effects of extreme events like flooding, heat and drought already cost the US agriculture sector over $275 billion between 1980 and 2011 – or nearly $9 billion a year. A terrible burden for family farmers. Crabs, shellfish, oysters and salmon are threatened by toxic algae blooms due to warm oceans, increasing ocean acidity and rivers running too low and warm in hot summers. Oregon has and will likely continue to experience larger and more severe fires. 

Two out of three Oregonians favor making large polluters pay for the cost of what they put into our air and water. Eight Oregon city and county governments have passed resolutions supporting a statewide cap and price on climate pollution. There is currently Clean Energy Jobs legislation under consideration by the Oregon Legislature’s Rules Committee that would curb pollution and spur investments in communities most vulnerable to climate change, like ours. If passed, the legislation could help our local oyster farms, and create many different types of jobs requiring all kinds of skills, from construction workers, to engineers, designers, manufacturing workers, salespeople, secretaries and custodians. Clean energy investments in Oregon have already directly created 5,300 jobs and many thousands of additional jobs. Clean energy investment creates up to 3-times more jobs than the same amount in fossil fuel production.

Supporters of Clean Energy Jobs, like Physicians for Social Responsibility and other members of the Renew Oregon coalition, support a science-based policy that will cap climate pollution and price greenhouse emissions to limit Oregon’s share of global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius, while giving polluters incentive to cut emissions and the flexibility to do it efficiently at the lowest cost. The coalition supports investing the proceeds in clean energy solutions such as affordable solar and wind power, energy efficient homes and businesses, public transit, and electric vehicles.

Oregon, Washington, California and British Columbia make up the 5th largest economy in the world, a region that is powerful enough to move markets and set an example for the US and the world in solving the climate and jobs issues. Oregon can step up now. Dave Gomberg, Representative for our area (District 10), is a strong supporter of creating new jobs. Contact Representative Gomberg and ask him to work with the members of the Rules Committee and other Representatives to see that Clean Energy Jobs is passed.