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Picture of Oregon State Capitol building
Oregon's governor calls for a special session, excludes climate action
August 28, 2019

Contact: Jonathan Gates
Oregon Communications Manager
jonathan.gates@climatesolutions.org
(503) 548-2538

PORTLAND, OR – Governor Kate Brown announced today that she supports calling the Oregon State Legislature into a special session, but addressing the climate crisis was notably absent from the agenda. This omission is the latest major failure by Oregon’s elected officials to fulfill their promise to take climate action to protect this place we all call home.

Earlier this year, we watched with dismay as the Legislature failed to pass the Clean Energy Jobs bill, a landmark climate pollution reduction package. Speaker Tina Kotek and other supporters of climate action in the House worked to refine and pass the bill out of their chamber. However, Senate President Peter Courtney caved to opposing senators who chose to abandon their duties rather than participate in the legislative process as they were elected to do.

At the time, Governor Brown declared that climate action was the one major piece of unfinished legislative business, a sentiment echoed by numerous legislators and advocates. Governor Brown stated that she was committed to using every tool in her toolbox to address this pressing issue. However, failing to include climate action on the special session docket is a worrying sign that addressing climate change is not truly prioritized by Oregon’s elected officials.

“It’s hard to watch our elected leaders press snooze on climate action as kids return to school and daytime highs reach triple digits across the state,” said Meredith Connolly, Climate Solutions’ Oregon Director. “Our youth will face the worst consequences of climate change if we don’t act now, and they have been among the loudest voices calling for climate action.”

We urge Governor Brown and Oregon’s other elected officials to hold true to their commitment to using every tool in the toolbox to move the state of Oregon forward on taking bold climate action.

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Climate Solutions is a Northwest-based clean energy economy nonprofit working to accelerate clean energy solutions to the climate crisis.

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Author Bio

Jonathan Lee (formerly Gates; pronouns: he/him) has over seven years of experience in nonprofit communications strategy, print and web content creation, public policy advocacy, and promoting equity, diversity and social justice. He believes in making positive change by asking sincere questions, building meaningful relationships, and collaborating equitably toward shared goals.

Jonathan has a Bachelor's degree in Sociology and American Ethnic Studies from Willamette University. He spends his free time reading, volunteering, hiking, and listening to jazz music, often with his partner Rachel and their three dogs.