Oregon Passes Historic Toxics Protections

For Immediate Release: Oregon Passes Historic Toxics Protections Oregon Legislature Acts to Phase Out Known Hazardous Chemicals from Children’s Products Salem, OR – July 3, 2015: Today, the Oregon House cast a decisive and bipartisan vote in favor of the Toxic Free Kids Act (SB 478), a bill that requires manufacturers to disclose and phase out hazardous chemicals in consumer products targeted at children. “This law isn’t about regulating products that haven’t been made,” said Oregon State Senator Chris Edwards in an impassioned floor speech. “This ...

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Clean Fuels: Fact vs. Myth

What the Clean Fuels Program does: Guarantees climate pollution reductions from transportation fuels by 10% over 10 years. How it works: Oil importers (all petroleum comes from outside of Oregon) must reduce their carbon footprint by investing in lower carbon fuels. All fuels are judged on their lifecycle climate impact. The cleanest fuels, such as waste grease biodiesel or biogas collected from landfills, are encouraged the most. Higher carbon fuels, like natural gas, may have a niche role to play, but won’t be the dominant fuel. Oil companies also have to report ...

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Clean Air and Good Roads at Odds No More

Transportation Should be Considered On Its Own Merits Portland, OR – June 25, 2015: Today, Oregon’s Governor confirmed what had become clear to many over the last week: Oregonians don’t have to choose between good roads and clean air. Representatives of groups as disparate as Oregon’s schools and utility ratepayers objected to a proposed “replacement” for clean air legislation that had been tacked on to a transportation bill. Legislators rejected the package and decided much needed transportation funding should be considered on its own merits. “Oreg...

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Weird ways to save water in Oregon

It's shaping up to be a dry one out there, and it is leading to some weirdness: kitten abundance, succulent swiping and...Bigfoot?  Treating water as precious is always a good idea, but in a year when Oregon has 90% less snow pack to refresh our rivers, it's time to get creative about saving. If you're already using low-flow everything, consider this: Most Americans use 70 gallons of water a day. The average Gambian uses about 1 gallon a day. We'd all be better off if we each stuck closer to 13 gallons a day. (Pacific Institute) Test yourself: How many of ...

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Climate change and runoff threaten Oregon’s iconic coast

Recently, I was prompted to list the three things that matter to me more than anything in my life. My list? Family, the Pacific Northwest, and the ocean. I count my blessings on the first two. I’m lucky to live in a beautiful corner of the world and be close to my family. But as a lifelong advocate for the ocean, I’m alarmed at the rate of change being observed. Record toxic algal blooms, starving sea lions, displaced marine mammals, an endangered oyster industry—these are just a few on a long list of scary warning signs. The ocean is demanding our attention. ...

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Statement from OEC, OLCV, and Climate Solutions

According to news reports, in an attempt to secure a transportation package – which our organizations strongly support – Governor Brown and a group of legislators are proposing a repeal of the Clean Fuels Program and attempting to replace it with a package of proposals that will cost taxpayers significant money and fails to guarantee cleaner air. The Oregon League of Conservation Voters, Climate Solutions and Oregon Environmental Council issue the following statement, in response to this proposal: “The Clean Fuels program is the most effective and proven ...

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Family Ties and Toxic Free Generations

OEC’s Devon Downeysmith, OEC’s climate communications and outreach manager, and her dad, David Michael Smith, a veteran journalist and videographer, share a deep concern for the potential health hazards posed by the presence of toxic chemicals in many children’s toys, apparel and furniture. Dad and daughter agree that the debate over the issue has been going on far too long. It’s time to pass the Toxic Free Kids Act – a bill that will likely be up for a vote in the next week. Devon was born and raised in Portland and has lived there her entire life. Devon ...

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Climate change news that’s not too hot to handle: Your monthly roundup of good news

Climate change presents the most pressing challenge of our time, but it also represents a major opportunity – economically, societally and even spiritually. It’s a topic that forces us to harness our inner resiliency and learn how to adapt and evolve, both collectively and individually. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the good news from the past month: Following years of public pressure and a well-coordinated campaign organized by the Rainforest Action Network, Bank of America unveiled its new global coal mining policy committing to reduce ...

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Bend Advocacy Training –find your voice!

Sign up for our June 13 advocacy workshop in Bend here.  Five years ago, as far as democracy was concerned, I had no voice. I was incredibly passionate about sustainability and conservation, but I wasn’t channeling that energy towards effective change. I didn’t know how to influence policy. I didn’t know that legislators actually wanted to hear from me. I didn’t know how to talk about my concerns with those that needed to hear them, and who needed to hear from me was a whole other mystery altogether. I complained to my sister and husband often – they were ...

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Green Camping Checklist

Hooray! Summer is almost here! It’s going to be great fun, especially in the great outdoors. Guarantee more smiles with these camping tips–including a green camping checklist–that will help you avoid environmental hazards and avoid becoming a hazard yourself Planning: You might not know to check these before you go! Summer has always had its hazards. But as climate change brings more intense weather, it’s good to get in the habit of planning ahead. Check for toxic algal blooms: Made worse by warm weather and polluted runoff, toxic algae can be harmful ...

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