Senators Ron Wyden (left) and Jeff Merkley
Oregon’s Senators want what we want: less pollution, more clean energy

Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden are calling for stronger carbon pollution reduction targets in the Clean Power Plan.

In a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on Tuesday, the Senators wrote: “The Clean Power Plan will be the single most significant step this country has ever taken to tackle greenhouse gas emissions in the power sector, so it is essential that it be done right.  For the Clean Power Plan to be a success, it must achieve the level of emissions reductions that the science calls for to avoid the most dangerous impacts of climate change.”

Merkley and Wyden were joined by Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ),  Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

Read the full text of the letter.

Here’s an overview of the Clean Power Plan from the Environmental Protection Agency:

Senator Merkley recently laid out what’s at stake for our state, “Carbon pollution and climate change are already threatening Oregon's farming, fishing and forests and our middle class jobs in those industries. Our future depends on taking action now to avert catastrophic climate change, and that means we must leave four-fifths of conventional fossil fuels in the ground.”

A successful transition from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy is within our collective power in Oregon and across the Northwest. We must now accelerate and complete that transition.

As mentioned in our formal public comments to the EPA, we welcome the higher bar that the agency has set for Oregon and Washington in the Clean Power Plan, recognition of our proven track-record in clean energy. We also believe the Clean Power Plan’s 2020 and 2030 emissions outcomes must be strengthened, in line with both the scientific requirements for a stable climate and the huge opportunities for communities in Oregon by accelerating our state’s clean energy economy.

Author Bio

Ann Gravatt

Policy Advisor, Climate Solutions

Ann was a member of Climate Solutions' staff for a number of years, first as Oregon Director for nearly three years and then as policy advisor.

Ann has more than a decade of energy experience, previously working as a consultant, policy advocate and attorney.  From 2002-2010, Ann was the Policy Director for the Renewable Northwest Project (RNP). At RNP, Ann was involved with key victories throughout the Northwest, including passage of renewable energy standards in Montana, Washington and Oregon. Ann also directed RNP’s state regulatory work, regularly appearing before the region’s utility commissions to advance strong clean energy policy.  

Ann practiced natural resources and energy law for several years in Portland and Washington, D.C. She also has a background in candidate and ballot initiative campaigns and public affairs. Ann has a J.D. from the George Washington University Law School and a B.A. from the University of Richmond.  

Ann and her husband, Brad Ouderkirk, are the parents to two young children and live in NE Portland.