Our 2016 legislative priorities

As the gavel fell on the 2016 session of the Oregon Legislature, OEC raised a glass to toast. Because of a law that OEC supporters helped, Oregon is set to become the first coal free state.

Thanks to the Clean Electricity and Coal Transition bill, Oregon will transition off of coal-fired power completely by 2030. Clean renewable energy, such as wind and solar, will replace the coal we’re kissing goodbye. In fact, because of this bill, Oregon will double its renewable energy use by 2040, become one of the cleanest powered states, create a brand-new community solar program, and scale up our electric vehicle infrastructure — another key strategy for combating climate change and improving local air quality.

While this history-making shift to clean, renewable energy made news across the country and around the world, it wasn’t the only item on the OEC agenda. From water to air to our communities, OEC faced challenges and found successes:

Our achievements:

  • Affordable Housing: Together with the support of our members and in concert with our allies in the Oregon Conservation Network, OEC advocated for lifting the ban on inclusionary zoning (SB 1533). While the bill that ultimately passed is a first step – effectively opening up affordable housing opportunities in Portland – OEC will not be satisfied until all Oregonians have access to walkable, livable, low-impact communities.
  • Solar Power: OEC supported the further investment in clean, sustainable solar power (HB 4037).
  • Clean Water: OEC assisted in passing a bill (SB 1563) that helps repair or replace failing septic systems, which pollute lakes, streams and groundwater.
  • Clean Air: OEC advocated for $2.5 million in funds to significantly expand Oregon’s Air Toxics Program.

We also faced challenges and roadblocks in the short session – challenges that we will overcome in years to come:

Our challenges:

  • Capping carbon: An enforceable, economy-wide carbon policy is at the top of OEC’s priorities. The Healthy Climate Bill (SB 1574) would have capped Oregon’s carbon pollution and held polluters accountable for the cost of their pollution, while funding programs to reduce energy costs for consumers and businesses, as well as renewable energy and smart transportation investments that will create jobs in Oregon while reducing climate pollution. We knew it would be a challenge to pass this bill in a short session, but thanks to Rep. Buckley, the legislature did provide funding for DEQ to investigate this opportunity, including how Oregon will link to other states and protect disadvantaged communities in Oregon.
  • Safe drinking water: An ongoing priority for OEC, this bill (HB 4036) would have required testing and information disclosure to educate Oregonians about possible well water contamination and how to address it. The bill would also create a revolving loan fund for landlords and low-income homeowners to purchase treatment systems or repair or replace wells. While the bill didn’t pass this year, we made significant progress and look forward to bringing the issue back in 2017.

This year’s victories could not have happened without our members and supporters. Our progress represents many years of advocacy, thousands of your letters and calls, hundreds of coalition members and endorsers. We did it together. Thank you!

Related Posts
Filter by
Post Page
Policy Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Water Conservation Featured Toxics-Free Environments Climate Protection OEC News/Updates/Events OEC Membership Living Green Water News Stormwater Rural Partnerships Job Opportunities Transportation Solutions Our Impact
Sort by

2016 Elections: Moving Forward

Listening, learning and taking action. It’s what we’re witnessing right now across Oregon, and it’s the strategy we’ve embraced since 1968. Oregon Environmental Council holds at its very core a simple idea: if we come together to find common ground, we will succeed in protecting what we love. Please join us in this spirit of unity. As part of our Grassroots
November 17, 2016, 8:57 pm


Congrats to Multnomah County! OEC Healthy Purchasing Champion 2016

We’re pleased to announce that Multnomah County is the recipient of OEC’s first annual “Healthy Purchasing Champion” award for 2016. The County has demonstrated excellence and leadership in the pursuit of safer products through public procurement. While a number of local governments completed an impressive scope of work in the arena of purchasing safer products over the last year, Multnomah County rose above in their level of implementation. Oregon Environmental Council works directly
July 15, 2016, 5:13 pm


What is the biggest challenge we face on water in 2016 and beyond?

In preparation for our May 4th Business Forum on Water, OEC Water Program Director Samantha Murray got a chance to sit down and talk to national expert Robert Glennon about our evolving relationship with water in a changing climate.   SM: How do you think our relationship with water will change in
April 25, 2016, 6:27 pm


Ballot measures (updated July 2016)

OEC and our supporters tracked a number of ballot measures in the spring and summer of 2016. Here are the original descriptions, each with an update as of July 2016: In May: Fix Our Streets Portland Fix Our Streets Portland will raise much-needed revenue to fund transportation improvements that boost people’s ability to walk, bike or take tr
April 19, 2016, 12:50 am


Introducing our 2016 legislative agenda

Oregon Environmental Council has been a leader in every legislative session since our founding in 1968. Our steady presence and our ability to forge consensus across party lines have led to creative and practical environmental protections. In 2016, OEC will once again be hard at work in Salem to protect Oregon’s environment and quality of life. Our priorities for this session include: The
February 1, 2016, 8:12 pm


2016 Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Plan

The Clean Electricity & Coal Transition Plan (HB 4036) will transition Oregon off of coal-fired power while doubling the state’s commitment to new renewable energy to 50%. Oregon can remain a national leader in stopping climate change and growing our local, clean energy economy by removing coal from our electricity. Environmental and consumer advocates, along with utilities, created this plan and agree it will achieve climate protection goals with m
January 19, 2016, 3:35 pm


Health + Environment 2016: A Breakfast Forum

Environmental health and health policy issues facing the February 2016 legislative session The Oregon Health Forum and Oregon Environmental Council invite you to attend a breakfast with state lawmakers on the eve of the 2016 legislative session and in advance of 2016 elections. Where: Multnomah Athletic Club, Portland When: January 27, 7:00 AM – 9:30 AM Who
January 11, 2016, 12:10 am


Top Green Resolutions for 2016

Need a green boost in 2016? Here are a few resolution ideas to spark action for the Oregon you love: Try something new: The first step to adopting a new, green habit is to give it a try. Ride the bus, cook a meat-free meal, try a fragrance-free product or set a timer on your morning shower. Give up something old: Today’s major appliances have much tighter energy efficient standards that can save you water, energy and money. Is it t
December 31, 2015, 5:44 pm



Now Hiring – Legislative Director

Title: Legislative Director Status: Regular FLSA Classification: Exempt Hours: 1.0 full-time equivalent Reports to:
January 15, 2023, 3:30 pm


2022 Legislative Session Banner

2022 Oregon legislative victories!

With a flurry of action in just five short weeks, the 2022 Legislative Session concluded on March 4th. This year’s session started with extreme uncertainty as a result of major changes in leadership and a new COVID variant. It also began with good news: an unexpectedly large state budget surplus. In the end, Oregon Environmental Council is thrilled that most of our major priorities made it across the finish l
March 9, 2022, 9:51 pm


No Replies to "Our 2016 legislative priorities"