Climate change is a political issue
November 22, 2013

Climate Solutions' 5th Annual Dinner & 15th Anniversary Celebration, Portland Nov. 20, 2013

What a night! It’s clearer than ever before that the Northwest is poised to lead on climate, and thanks to generous support from around the region, we’re on the path.

As Tom Steyer said to all of us in the ballroom last Wednesday night at our 5th Annual Dinner and 15th Anniversary celebration: "Climate change is not a scientific issue and not a policy issue. It's a political issue. The government's role is to set a fair framework so businesses can do their math and make their investments. Business and labor voices and broad coalition building are absolutely essential to winning on climate."

Thanks to your support we exceeded our goal of $85,000, raising over $102,201 dedicated to bold action on climate and clean energy.

Why it matters: We have some big fights in our near future, in particular to advance clean fuels in our region and to defend Oregon's Renewable Portfolio Standard. Together we can hold climate polluters accountable and build a post-carbon economy to create good jobs and protect Northwest communities, but we’re up against a lot with not a lot of time, given the climate consequences we are already experiencing.

 Governor Kitzhaber addressed the State of Oregon's role in coal export: “I want to assure you tonight that we are carefully reviewing every single issue [on coal export] within our statutory authority and I personally will do all that I can within the context of Oregon law to make sure that we do not decide to embrace a coal-dependent future in the absence of a larger federal policy that speaks to how coal in any way can help us make a transition to a cleaner energy future.”
Action in Oregon and Washington would mean alignment from California to B.C. on climate and clean energy solutions. We have an enormous opportunity in front of us, and an extraordinary ambitious vision and agenda that can be achieved because we have momentum and leadership and you.

We would also like to thank the climate heroes who made this event a success:

  • Governor John Kitzhaber: for steady leadership on climate and clean energy
  • Climate warrior Tom Steyer: for a strong vision and bold leadership that is changing the dialogue and practices around energy.
  • Our Board member, Virinder Singh: for being a poetic champion of our cause and helping raise over $50,000 in the room. Thank you to all who made additional donations in the room to help us exceed our goal.
  • The Harvesting Wind Power Solution Story: a collaboration with Rachel Shimshak and our friends at the Renewable Northwest Project, Ormand Hilderbrand of the PaTu Wind Farm, and Judge Gary Thompson, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners in Sherman County, Oregon and produced in partnership with Sustainable Media Group.
  • Our sponsors, table hosts, table captains, public officials, foundations, donors, volunteers and guests in the room. 
  • Andie Petkus Photography for photographing the event.

Thank you for helping us to create a model for other regions and states, and to drive change at the national level. Thank you for being the climate hero who will help us do this.

*** Original announcement ***

All of us at Climate Solutions are thrilled to be hearing from both Governor John Kitzhaber and Tom Steyer on Wednesday at our 5th Annual Dinner & 15th Anniversary celebration.

Tom Steyer, Co-Founder of Next Generation, is a national advocate for investing in clean energy solutions to address climate change. His targeted investments in renewable energy research, advanced energy solutions, and community-building strategies are aimed squarely at the intersection of economic development and environmental protection.

Eileen V. Quigley, Director of Strategic Innovation at Climate Solutions, did a great profile on Tom earlier this year. Chris Bast, our Business Partnership Manager, also did a deeper dive on one of the many great projects Steyer has helped found: Advanced Energy Economy.

Serving in his third term as Governor of Oregon, John Kitzhaber released his10-Year Energy Action Plan last year which called energy THE issue of our time, both globally and here in Oregon. "No single issue will have a greater impact on our state's economy, environment and quality of life in the coming decade," he said.

Last month, in a great step forward on climate and clean energy, Governor Kitzhaber joined Governor Jay Inslee of Washington, California Governor Jerry Brown and BC's Premier Christy Clark on a new Pacific Coast Action Plan.

These West Coast leaders agreed that all four jurisdictions will account for the costs of carbon pollution and also committed to adopting and maintaining low carbon fuel standards in each jurisdiction.

Take a look at the great coverage from around the country.

On Wednesday night we'll hear more from both of these leaders about their visions for bold action on climate and clean energy.


Our Annual Dinner would not be possible without support from the following sponsors:

Climate Champion Sponsor:



Climate Partner Sponsors:

Clean Energy Works

One Pacific Coast Bank


Iberdrola Renewables

Advanced Energy Economy


15th Anniversary Sponsors

Drive Oregon

Lisa Adatto

EDF Renewable Energy

Gerding Edlen


Climate Friend Sponsors

Better World Club


EDP Renewables

Evergreen Consulting Group


Pacific Ag

Pacific Ethanol

Portfolio 21

SeQuential Pacific Biodiesel

Umpqua Bank


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Author Bio

The article was written by Climate Solutions staff. Our individual bios can be found here.

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