Thomas Shahan (Flickr)
From climate impacts to solutions for Oregon businesses

In mid-January, during the State of Oregon’s “Legislative Days”, three business leaders in Oregon spoke before the Senate Interim Committee On Environment and Natural Resources, chaired by Senator Michael Dembrow. They testified to the effects of climate change their industries are facing right now.

And while their businesses take steps to adapt to the current impacts of climate change, each of these leaders recognized that they are not alone: climate change is affecting businesses in multiple sectors across the state. They stressed the need for action on climate in the Oregon legislature.

Solutions were called for, including new homegrown fuel opportunities through a Clean Fuels Standard, a price on carbon in Oregon, investing in sustainability to cut back on our electrical, chemical and water footprints, and a firm, legal commitment to reduce our state’s greenhouse gas emissions. 

Check out some of the testimonies below. You can also listen to the entire hearing (you will need RealPlayer, VLC or some other app that handles .ram files).

“When someone tells you your job is a way of life, it means you’re working on the weekend.”


Alan Barton has been putting in some long hours.

As production manager of the Whiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery in Netarts Bay, Oregon, he’s been busy troubleshooting the local effects of ocean acidification on the future of their business and the over 3,000 jobs in rural communities up and down the Pacific Coast supported by oyster production.

You can learn more from our friends at the Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association. Here is Alan’s presentation:


"We're making world class wines in Oregon today, let's make sure that in 100 years that is still the case."


Sam Tannahill is a founder and the Director of Viticulture and Winemaking for A to Z Wineworks, one of the largest wineries in Oregon, and REX HILL, a legacy Oregon winery founded in 1982. Sam currently serves on the boards of the Oregon Wine Research Institute, the Willamette Valley Wineries Association and the Oregon Business Association. From Sam:

“Why is climate change important to the Oregon Wine Industry? With cool nights and warm long days during the growing season and mostly dry cool weather during harvest, Oregon has traditionally had a temperate climate that is ideally suited to producing world class wine. However, this perfect climate is extremely fragile and is being threatened…

“Let's invest in studies on how we can best move forward with clean fuels on the road and in the vineyards and in studies that show how we can efficiently and affordably contribute to reducing emissions and offset the true cost of production through a carbon tax… The wine industry in Oregon is but a part of an interconnected tapestry of business, industries and livelihoods that are being threatened by climate change.”

Check out Sam Tannahill’s full testimony and powerpoint slides here:


“Oregon growers of nursery and greenhouse plants take pride in the ongoing contribution they make to a better, more beautiful environment.”


Jeff Stone is the Executive Director of the Oregon Association of Nurseries, coordinating the work of the association's 1,000 members throughout the state. Here’s Jeff:

“The nursery and greenhouse industry is the state’s largest agricultural sector and represents the nation’s second largest nursery state with over $744 million in sales. Our top grossing nursery operations reside within the counties of Clackamas, Marion, Washington, Yamhill and Multnomah.

“It is in our economic and stewardship interest to lead by example and work toward sensible solutions to resolve the issues that confront us. In collaboration with the Oregon Environmental Council, nurseries are quantifying their energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, and identifying specific ways to reduce both. At the end of a three-year project, participating nurseries reduced their GHG emissions by an average of 20%. This was done through the establishment of “on the ground” and sensible best management practices…The Oregon Association of Nurseries is committed to working with the legislature and a myriad of partners to combat the challenges we face with climate change.”

Check out Jeff Stone’s full testimony:



Author Bio

Bobby is former Solutions Stories and Media Manager with Climate Solutions. In that role, he worked to identify and engage new audiences for our programs and campaigns throughout the Northwest, with a focus on the Solutions Stories.

Bobby spent six years as the National Representative at the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition (SOS), mobilizing support to restore the Columbia-Snake River Basin, a watershed home to some of the world’s best habitat for wild salmon and steelhead in a changing climate.

After receiving his degree in Political Science from the University of Oregon in 2003, he advocated on behalf of working people and the environment. In addition to SOS, Bobby has worked for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU Local 503) and America Coming Together, and volunteered for the Trout Unlimited, Elders in Action, and UNITE HERE.

Bobby hails from central Pennsylvania and has lived in Oregon since 1998. When he's not working, Bobby can be found with his partner Jenny and their cat Jove, playing music with friends, out and about on his bike, or working in the garden.

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