Image of wave crashing in the Oregon Coast
Oregon's Green Wave

As the final results of this November’s midterm election roll in, one thing is clear: climate action was on the ballot in Oregon, and voters made it clear that they want more!

That message was resoundingly delivered in the governor’s race, where the candidates’ positions on climate and environmental protections were among their starkest differences. Tina Kotek ran on her track record of passing transformative clean energy laws and pledged to defend and build on the state’s recent climate progress. Voters across the state chose Kotek to be Oregon’s next governor, defeating not just one, but two corporate polluter-backed candidates who both made it clear they wanted to roll back climate progress. Several candidates for the state legislature also ran and won on a climate platform

Happily, Measure 113 also passed! This measure will ensure there are consequences for legislators who orchestrate a walkout to block votes on legislation and hopefully curb the obstructive practice altogether. In the past, walkouts by a minority of legislators have stopped key climate legislation. Now the democratic process can work as intended again with legislators doing their job and voting on legislation, as they were elected to do. 

With elected officials who support moving the state forward on climate making up the majority in both chambers of the legislature as well as the Governor’s mansion, we have an exciting opportunity to make big strides in the 2023 legislative session! If you haven't already, sign up for text alerts to stay up to date on what’s coming in the 2023 legislative session.

Before we fully turn our attention to 2023, there’s also one more opportunity for major climate action in 2022! The Environmental Quality Commission (EQC) will vote on whether to pass the Advanced Clean Car II rule in December. This consequential rule would strengthen Oregon’s vehicle pollution standards for all new light-duty cars sold. By 2035, 100% of new cars sold will be zero-emission vehicles instead of gas guzzlers! Unsurprisingly, there has already been a disinformation campaign launched against this progress by Big Oil. To be clear, this rule strictly applies to new vehicles sold, not the car you have now. Read here for more info and stay tuned for whether the EQC joins Washington, California and New York by passing this rule by the end of this year. It will be a massive win for our climate and air quality and accelerate our clean energy transition!

Thank you for being a climate voter!

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.