Hokusai green wave
Delivering on the green wave in 2019
November 16, 2018

Wow! We just witnessed a green wave last week, with Oregon voters delivering major victories for the climate up and down the ballot on Election Day. I am so excited about what the election results mean for increasing clean energy and climate progress in our beloved state.

First, the Portland Clean Energy Initiative passed resoundingly! The initiative will create green jobs, invest in renewable energy projects and energy efficient homes, and support local communities most impacted by climate change as Portland strives to achieve 100% clean energy. Climate Solutions was proud to support this incredible initiative created and led by organizations representing and working with communities of color.

Oregonians strongly rejected all of the statewide ballot measures that would have hurt the climate and frontline communities. Measure 103, Measure 104, and Measure 105 all failed, protecting Oregon values of respect and fairness.

Oregon voters also overwhelmingly elected leaders who campaigned on advancing solutions to the climate crisis, including re-electing Governor Kate Brown. The majority of new state legislators, from Portland to Ashland to the Coast, ran on platforms in support of strong climate action and passing the Clean Energy Jobs bill. Oregonians want to see our state moving forward on delivering clean air and clean energy, and we’re hopeful that this Legislature will deliver on voters’ climate mandate.

With the 2019 legislative session starting in just two months, our biggest priority is passing Clean Energy Jobs. This cap and invest program, developed with many stakeholders over many years, will put a hard limit on the largest sources of climate emissions in Oregon and invest in clean energy solutions across the state. Thanks to support from climate voters like you, we have incredible momentum coupled with commitments from legislative leadership and the governor to finally pass this bill.

We will need your support every step of the way. We anticipate unrelenting efforts from opposition who will try to weaken or kill the bill throughout the legislative session. We just saw Big Oil spend over $30 million to buy an outcome on Initiative 1631, Washington’s groundbreaking effort to invest in clean energy, clean air, and local communities. We have no doubt the fossil fuel industry will turn their attention to Oregon, trying to stop progress and roll back our clean air and climate protection here too.

Thankfully, we have given our elected leaders in Salem the tools and mandate they need to bring home major climate wins for Oregonians. Now is not the time for half-measures or backsliding. With your help, we’ll advance policies that create a healthier, more resilient economy powered by clean energy.

Please join us to celebrate, learn more, and support Climate Solutions at our annual dinner at the end of this month. You will also get to hear from Hal Harvey, a visionary on transitioning our economy to clean energy. Together, we have so much to toast and look forward to in the coming year. 

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Author Bio

Meredith Connolly

Oregon Director, Climate Solutions

Meredith brings over a decade of climate policy experience to her work accelerating Oregon’s transition to a clean energy economy. She advocates for innovative and equitable policy solutions to reduce pollution and create clean energy jobs across the state. Currently, Meredith leads a team diligently working to electrify everything from cars, trucks, and buses to homes and buildings, and power it all with 100% clean electricity.

Prior to joining Climate Solutions, Meredith was a Climate and Energy Attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council. At NRDC, she advanced renewable energy policies in the U.S. and internationally. She also implemented programs to protect public health and improve climate resilience to heat waves and air pollution in India’s growing cities. Before NRDC, Meredith practiced law in the private sector.

Meredith is a member of the Oregon and California State Bar Associations. She holds a JD from Boston College Law School and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and French from Santa Clara University. In her free time, Meredith enjoys exploring her incredible home state of Oregon with her family and rooting too loudly for the Portland Thorns and Timbers.