Sep 18, 2013
Today the Oregon House Interim Committee on Energy and Environment held a hearing on business impacts of climate change and the clean energy economy in Oregon. Panelists included small business owners and representatives from various economic sectors across the state: wineries, nurseries, and oyster farmers along with residential energy retrofit contractors and rural economic development specialists.
The Committee also received a biennial report from Oregon’s Global Warming Commission (OGWC), formed out of House Bill 3543 in the 2007 legislature.
The takeaway from the OGWC’s latest report: Cars and Coal remain our challenge. Oregon is not on path to meet its 2020 goals. To get there, Oregon must maintain core programs such as the Renewable Portfolio Standard and Clean Fuels Program and implement new measures to address the 50% of greenhouse gas emissions coming from cars and coal power.
Quotes from panelists and attendees at the hearing:
“The impacts of climate change on some of Oregon’s most important industries – wine, shellfish, and nurseries – are very real and very serious. At the same time, there are real steps we can take to reduce greenhouse emissions and bolster our economy. I call on my colleagues to recognize these impacts of climate change and join me in a conversation about legislative action.”
- Rep. Jules Bailey (D-42), Chair of the House Committee on Energy and Environment
“The Oregon wine industry contributes just short of $3 billion to the Oregon economy annually and is recognized worldwide for its ability to grow grapes and make wine that is possible few places on earth. Our valley’s cool climate is at risk with global climate change, and also at risk are our signature wines.. Climate change is not a point on a political agenda, it is fact. We look forward to the direction of the legislature."
- Harry Peterson-Nedry, founder of Chehalem Wines
“The barely passing grade from the Global Warming Commission is not good enough for Oregon. Businesses affected by climate change deserve recognition of the threats they face and action from our elected leaders to further reduce carbon pollution.”
- Ann E. Gravatt, Oregon Director for Climate Solutions
“While Oregon has made some progress, the Oregon Global Warming Commission gives us an overall grade of “C+“. To meet our 2020 legislative reduction target of 10 percent below 1990 emissions levels, we still have a great deal of work to do.”
- Alan Zelenka, Energy Director with Kennedy/Jenks, theEugene City Council, and member of the Oregon Global Warming Commission
Climate Solutions is a Northwest-based clean energy economy nonprofit that works to accelerate practical and profitable solutions to global warming by galvanizing leadership, growing investment and bridging divides. For 15 years, Climate Solutions has pioneered the vision and cultivated political leadership in the Northwest for the proposition that clean energy and broadly shared economic prosperity can go hand-in-hand.