Last Thursday, January 30, Climate Solutions and the Oregon Environmental Council hosted members of the region’s business community for an informative briefing by leaders in the Oregon legislature.
This annual event, generously sponsored this year by Acme Business Consulting, provides a sneak preview of the upcoming legislative session in Salem and an opportunity for decision-makers to lay out their priorities moving forward. Our guest speakers included Senator Michael Dembrow, Representative Jules Bailey, Representative Jessica Vega Pederson, and Margi Hoffmann, energy policy advisor to Governor John Kitzhaber.
Pictured above: panelists from the State of Oregon, Climate Solutions and Oregon Environmental Council discuss the 2014 short session legislative agenda at ACME Business Consulting.
Members of Climate Solutions’ business partnership network and business leaders from across the state were on hand to ask questions and to provide ideas on advancing clean energy policy. Tom Foley, Smart Grid Oregon, encouraged the legislators to advance the integration of smart grid technologies to reduce our collective dependence on energy.
In all, a robust conversation took place addressing the challenge of connecting the topic of climate change to citizens’ everyday priorities.
Margi Hoffmann, Governor Kitzhaber’s energy policy advisor, brought an original signed copy of the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy. Throughout the evening, Ms. Hoffmann pointed to the scroll as not just a symbol of commitment from the Governor’s office to prioritize carbon reduction and energy policy, but more directly as her own professional work plan moving forward.
While there was much consensus in the room on the importance of global warming policy agendas, each official emphasized the need to hear that climate change is a priority from constituents. Now is a great time to tell your elected official that climate change is a high priority for you.
Take a look at more pics from this great event:
Ann Gravatt, Oregon Director for Climate Solutions, and Margi Hoffmann, energy policy advisor to Governor Kitzhaber, show off Margi’s “work-plan” - the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy, an international commitment to climate action between Governors John Kitzhaber, Jay Inslee, Jerry Brown, and British Columbia’s Premier Christy Clark.
Representative Jessica Vega Pederson from District 47, and member of the House Committee on Energy and Environment, spoke to her background growing up in a large Mexican-American family as a huge influence on her priorities in Salem. She cited recent polling that the Latino community rates climate change and the environment as key priorities and expressed the importance of connecting climate to values of the home and family.
Virinder Singh, Director of Regulatory and Legislative Affairs at EDF Renewable Energy,and board member with Climate Solutions and Renewable Northwest Project. Virinder pointed to the faster growth of renewable energy in states such as California and Texas, and challenged the legislators to tee up a robust agenda for 2015 to advance Oregon’s percentage of clean energy to reduce carbon emissions statewide.
Martin Tull, Executive Director of Green Sports Alliance, and Carrie Hearne, Oregon Business Partnerships Manager at Climate Solutions, discuss the success of the greening of sports in America.