It's the 11th hour for climate action in Salem

23 days. That’s how much time is left in the legislative session in Salem.   

97° F. That’s the record-breaking temperature in Salem on June 1st.

More than 97%. That’s how much of Oregon is abnormally dry, as drought emergencies are being declared and wildfires are already burning.

9 years. That’s the timeframe scientists tell us we have to make big cuts to climate pollution and accelerate the switch to clean energy. Every year of this decade is crucial to really turn things around and get us back on track to a safer, more resilient and thriving Oregon.   

Climate Solutions and our partners have been working hard advocating for policies that advance climate action and clean energy, and now with your help we can see those solutions through. We’ve made some needed progress on transportation electrification this session, but we must ensure our grid that is charging electric vehicles is powered by renewable energy and that our growing cities are building as green and efficiently as possible.

Oregon needs climate leadership now more than ever

Click here to email your legislators

HB 2021: Accelerating 100% clean electricity 

House Bill 2021 would commit Oregon to obtaining 100% of its electricity from clean and carbon-free energy sources by 2040. When passed, it would ensure an orderly transition to a grid powered by solar, wind, storage and other clean energy technologies. It would eliminate one of our state’s largest and growing sources of climate pollution: reliance on fossil gas plants. A 100% clean grid will serve as the clean energy backbone to power our buildings, transportation, and industries. HB 2021 will spark needed economic development in the renewable energy sector and create more family-wage jobs for clean energy, storage, and transmission projects across the state. Every part of Oregon can and should be part of the state’s transition to 100% clean energy—this bill will help ensure it does.

HB 2398: Letting Cities Reach for Big Energy Savings

State law currently prevents Oregon cities from requiring more energy efficient construction than our lagging statewide building code. This means rapidly-growing 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 instead of “base” code. 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.

So where are things at with only a few weeks left until the end of session? The joint Ways and Means Committee needs to pass both of these bills so then both chambers can have floor votes before the session clock runs out on June 27th. 

Contact your legislators today

We have a chance for Oregon to be a leader again, but you’re needed to help make it happen. We can get these bills across the finish line. We can have a 100% clean grid in Oregon. We can allow cities to reach for deep energy savings.  

This heat wave is a scorching reminder: we need to do several big things this year so we can all breathe easier down the road.  

Author Bio

Meredith Connolly

Director of Policy and Strategy, Climate Solutions

Meredith brings over a decade of climate policy experience to her work to help secure needed climate progress. She advocates for innovative and equitable policy solutions to reduce climate and air pollution and create a thriving clean energy economy across the Northwest.

Meredith previously served as Climate Solutions’ Oregon Director until 2024, where she helped pass key climate laws to transition Oregon’s electric grid to 100% clean energy and electrify the buildings and transportation sectors. 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.