Oregon Capitol in springtime
Oregonians: It's time to SPRING into climate action!

With beautiful signs of Spring like tulips and cherry blossoms blooming, we’ve already reached the halfway mark for Oregon’s 2021 Legislative Session. Climate Solutions and our partners have been working hard advocating for policies that advance climate action and clean energy. We wanted to share the positive update that this week marked forward progress for two of our top-priority bills!

HB 2398: Energy efficient local building codes

STATUS: Passed by House Energy & Environment Committee on 4/13/21.
NEXT STEP TO BECOMING LAW: Joint Ways & Means Committee

Cities in Oregon are currently preempted from requiring more energy efficient construction than our lagging statewide building code. This means rapidly-growing and climate-conscious cities like Bend and Portland can only require new buildings to be as energy efficient as in small cities like Burns and Port Orford. HB 2398 will change that by establishing a more energy efficient “REACH” building code in Oregon that cities and counties can choose to adopt. Cities across the state are looking forward to cleaner, more efficient buildings that lock in energy and cost savings for residents, as well as reduce climate pollution from the start.

HB 2021: Statewide 100% clean electricity commitment 

STATUS: Passed by House Energy & Environment Committee on 4/13/21.
NEXT STEP TO BECOMING LAW: House Revenue Committee

House Bill 2021 would commit Oregon to obtaining 100% of its electricity from clean and carbon-free energy sources by 2040. Transitioning to solar, wind, storage and other clean energy technologies would eliminate one of our state’s largest and growing sources of climate pollution: reliance on fossil gas plants. A zero-emission electric sector will serve as the clean energy backbone to power our buildings, transportation, and industries.  100% clean electricity policy will spark needed economic development in the renewable energy sector and create family-wage jobs for clean energy, storage, and transmission projects.

Urge your legislators to prioritize climate action this year

Click here to email your legislators

We’re grateful to the legislators who have worked diligently with us and many other stakeholders to shape these bills and voted YES to pass them out of the policy committee. We are also advocating for numerous other bills this session that would reduce our state’s climate pollution, increase environmental justice and equity in our energy and land use systems, and ensure that Oregon remains beautiful and livable for generations to come. Click here to view our full 2021 legislative agenda

We won’t stop until these bills and the rest of our climate agenda is across the finish line before session ends! We will be in touch in the coming weeks and months with opportunities to #ActOnClimate and make your voice heard!

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.