Jun 13, 2017
Twenty four energized Oregon fifth graders from Sunnyside Elementary School took the state capitol by storm to deliver 10,000 petitions in support of the Clean Energy Jobs bill (HB 2135). Each petition was signed by an Oregonian, representing communities all over the state, in each and every house and senate district. Together with Renew Oregon, the students hand delivered the petitions to all 90 legislative offices as well as to Governor Kate Brown. The enthusiasm emitting from the students resonated throughout the building as a reminder that our young people are very concerned about the issue of climate change.
The students met with Governor Brown in her office where their infectious enthusiasm for action on climate change led to a great discussion about the Clean Energy Jobs bill and what Oregon can do to lead the way. The students discussed the impacts from changing climate in Oregon such as the unusual severe weather, rising sea levels, and last summer's drought. Governor Brown encouraged the kids to stay active advocating for their future.
The Clean Energy Jobs bill will stimulate job growth in the clean energy economy, with a focus on communities across the state that are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. It will put a statewide limit on climate pollution. The cap lowers over time, to reduce air pollution from burning fossil fuels and the dangerous emissions that cause climate change. The bill would generate proceeds by putting a price on every ton of climate pollution, paid for only by those emitters who put out 25,000 tons or more per year-- the equivalent of burning 133 rail cars of coal.
The proceeds, roughly $700 million per year, would be reinvested into communities across the state with clean energy solutions – putting Oregonians to work by making clean power like solar even more accessible, improving energy efficiency in homes and businesses to save people money, building affordable housing near transit and investing in more transportation options. The bill aims to ensure people can save money on energy and that workers who are impacted by a clean energy transition are retrained in the new economy.
Governor Kate Brown has shown strong leadership by signing Oregon on to the Paris Climate Accord despite the withdrawal from Washington D.C. Passing the Clean Jobs Bill is the next logical step in reducing Oregon’s carbon footprint while improving the overall health of our communities. The potential to create clean jobs lays in the thousands and will propel Oregon as a national leader in the fight against climate change.