Feb 16, 2016

140 businesses, large and small, sign a letter to lawmakers urging passage of HB 4036

businesspeople.jpgSALEM, Ore. ­­ In a strong show of support for clean energy and climate protection, 140 Oregon businesses signed and delivered a letter to Oregon legislators this morning urging passage of the Clean Electricity and Coal Transition bill, SB 1547 B.

The signers range from huge operations like Oregon Health & Science University and the Portland Trail Blazers to small business owners from Tillamook to Bend, Portland to Ashland.

The opening to the letter reads:

In recognition of the clear and present need for action on climate and low­-carbon energy to protect our state’s natural assets, vibrant communities and growing economy, the below businesses encourage a coordinated effort to combat climate change at the state level. Leading is what we’ve always done. Together, regardless of politics, we can again lead the way.

From Oregon’s booming, multi­billion dollar wine industry to renewable energy companies, heavy electricity users to main street small business ­­all agree a transition to a clean energy economy will protect Oregonians and help businesses grow.

"As a company, Skanska has embraced clean energy as an economic opportunity ­­ both in our own operations and the projects we plan and build for clients,” said Steve Clem, Vice President of Project Planning Services at Skanska USA. “Since practices developed in our Oregon operation are adopted throughout our entire worldwide operation, we have the opportunity to be pioneers once again. Oregon should take the lead and show how good policy and priorities can lead to prosperous, healthy communities."

“Leading businesses in Oregon recognize the value of low­cost electricity with stable pricing over 20 years. Moving to 50% renewables in Oregon is a smart business decision that provides these companies the certainty they need as they look at their bottom lines and the costs of producing their products over the long­term,” said Tom Darin, Senior Director, Western State Policy, American Wind Energy Association. “ Doubling the renewable standard to 50% will also continue economic investment in Oregon and create thousands of jobs in construction, manufacturing and operations: wind turbine technicians are in high demand as the fastest growing job in America.”

In addition to these individual businesses, the Oregon Business Association has endorsed the bill. The Clean Electricity and Coal Transition bill (SB 1547 B) will transition Oregon’s largest utilities, Portland General Electric and Pacific Power, off coal­fired electricity by 2030 and double generation from renewable sources ­­ like wind and solar­­ to 50 percent by 2040.

The bill also includes a commitment to energy efficiency in Oregon, new investment in electric vehicle infrastructure, and increased access to solar power for residents, businesses and low­ income communities ­­ so more people can save money from renewable energy.

The letter below has the full text and list of business signers.