5 things to know about Clean Energy Jobs in 2019

With the start of the legislative session, Oregon is on its way toward passing historic climate legislation. The passage of a Clean Energy Jobs bill will resonate nationally, drive emissions down in the state, and open up opportunities throughout Oregon for projects that will cut energy bills, help protect and restore forests, and support cleaner transportation options. Committee hearings have been filled with supporters for the Clean Energy Jobs bill eager to see meaningful action–now.

As Oregonians get energized for clean energy legislation, we’re asking you to contact your legislators (more info below) to urge support for passing the Clean Energy Jobs and don’t forget about Lobby Day on Feb. 6. We know opposition from well-paid lobbyists is ramping up, so we need your voice!

Here’s the Top 5 things to know and help you talk about CEJ:

1. What is Clean Energy Jobs?

The bill has three major components:

  •  CAP: A limit on climate pollution from the largest emitters in our state. The cap will be lowered each year to guarantee less pollution, as scientists have demanded we need.
  • PRICE: To hold large polluters accountable and encourage them to use clean energy and do more efficiency, they will pay for each ton of pollution they put into our air. No exemptions for major polluters.
  • INVEST: Proceeds will be reinvested in communities across the state, putting Oregonians to work by making clean power, like solar, available to more people; upgrading homes and businesses to save energy and money; providing more transportation options; preventing wildfire; and protecting against drought. Investments must be guaranteed to low-income, communities of color, Tribes and rural communities to ensure they benefit from clean energy and are protected against climate impacts.

For more information and further reading, check out www.OEConline.org/CleanEnergyJobs.

2. Polling: Oregonians overwhelmingly support a cap-and-invest policy.

A recent poll shows that 7 in 10 Oregonians support cap and invest. This includes:

  • 80% from urban areas and 67% from rural areas,
  • 77% of voters under 50,
  • 65% for voters 50 – 64 years-old; 67% for voters over 65 years-old,
  • 77% from lower-income households.

This lines up with national polling showing record numbers of Americans are concerned about climate change because more are having personal experiences with extreme weather and other climate impacts.

For more information on the polling conducted by FM3, click here.

3. Oregon tribal leaders gave powerful testimony in support of the bill.

Tribal Council Members presented impactful and grave messages about climate change impacts to the Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction. They also shared actions Oregon Tribes have taken to reduce climate pollution–adding solar and wind to facilities, investing in high impact energy efficiency and providing transit services for Tribal and rural communities.

The Committee also heard from the Consul General of the Federated States of Micronesia, who spoke about disappearing island nations and urged Oregon lawmakers to consider their global responsibility.

One of the most amazing aspects about the momentum of the Clean Energy Jobs bill is the broad support from a variety of communities, organizations and businesses, who have signed onto expected outcomes for this policy.

Want to know more? Check out the Renew Oregon Coalition’s Policy Outcomes.

4. How much work has gone into writing this bill?

Tons. In fact, the state’s Legislature’s website contains thousands of documents and public records of engagement with the public to inform the writing of the bill, which includes the following:

  • Beginning in 2017’s long session and through the summer and fall after adjournment, a group of bipartisan legislators participated in hours and hours of hearings and work groups openly working on the cap and invest bill.
  • The 2017 work groups were attended by all conceivable stakeholders including advocates from: transportation, utilities, natural and working lands, fisheries, Tribes, industry, environmental justice, just transition, and Republican lawmakers. Thousand of pages of testimony and exhibits on the record are available. This informed the drafting of SB 1507 and HB 4001, introduced and both passed out of committee in 2018.
  • Multiple hearings in the 2018 session included testimony and input from a wide swath of stakeholders.
  • In 2018, the Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction (attended by a full, bipartisan group of legislators) had monthly hearings throughout the summer and fall where they heard expert testimony.
  • For a timeline showing more than a decade’s work in the Legislature, click here

5. It’s easy to contact your legislator and lawmakers want to know how their constituents feel about policy proposals.

Our partners at Renew Oregon have created a wonderful tool to make it easy to email your local representative and senator. Better yet, come speak to your lawmaker in person on Feb. 6  for this year’s Lobby Day.

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