5 things to know about Clean Energy Jobs in 2019 (Updated)

Updated Feb. 21, 2019 with additional dates

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.

State lawmakers are gathering at four locations in the state to hear the public’s thoughts about the Clean Energy Jobs bill, and we’re hoping you can attend the meeting. Better yet, can you sign up to speak your support? We know opposition from well-paid lobbyists is ramping up, so we need your voice!

  •      Springfield: Feb. 22 – Noon to 3 p.m., Springfield City Hall, Council Chamber, 225 Fifth Street
  •      Medford: Feb. 23 – 9 a.m. to noon, Central Medford High School, Auditorium, 815 South Oakdale Avenue
  •      Baker City: Feb. 25 – 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., Baker County Fairground Event Center, 2600 East St. (Committee will hear testimony via video link)
  •      Newport: Feb. 25 – 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Baker County Fairground Event Center, 2600 East St. (Committee will hear testimony via video link)
  •      The Dalles: March 1 – Noon to 3 p.m., The Dalles Civic Auditorium, Community Room, 323 East 4th Street
  •      Bend: March 2 – 9 a.m. to noon, Central Oregon Community College, Cascade Hall, Room 246-248, 2600 NW College Way

Can’t make it?

Our partners at Renew Oregon have created a wonderful tool to make it easy to email your local representative and senator.

We’re here to help with your support. 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. Messages from Lobby Day 2019: The time is now. Oregonians demand equitable investments

Feb. 6, 2019. What a day. More than 700 Oregonians, from all 30 Senate districts, gathered in support of the Clean Energy Jobs bill (HB 2020). Participants heard from Gov. Kate Brown and a recorded message from Al Gore before a march and rally at the steps of the Capitol in Salem. Click here for a more detailed summary and pictures.

The event follows a number of impactful and grave messages about climate change impacts from Tribal Council Members presented impactful and grave messages to the Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction about climate change impacts. 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. A boon for small businesses and the economy

Clean Energy Jobs bill will raise hundreds of millions of dollars per year to benefit Oregon communities across the state. An economist recently told the Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction the bill will grow the GDP and create an estimated 50,000 jobs by 2050. A transition to a clean energy economy, and the Clean Energy Jobs bill in particular, will be a boon for small businesses in two ways: increased economic activity and energy savings through investments from the program.

  • Many small businesses are part of the clean energy economy: family-owned construction companies, machine shops, engineering firms, design businesses, solar installers, hardware suppliers, heating and cooling contractors, architects, biofuel refiners, and more.
  • For larger transportation or power generation projects, often small business contractors lend their services to one part of the project. Large investment in these projects will have a positive economic ripple effect.

An economic report commissioned for Oregon found the savings Oregonians will realize from the transition to clean energy and upgrades to homes and transportation, will put money back in their pockets, which they’re more likely to spend back in the community and drive more local economic activity rather than shipping that money out of state to pay for fossil fuels.

A separate report by E2 Report on  Current Clean Economy in Oregon found that:

  • 55,000+ Clean energy jobs currently in Oregon
  • 50-times more Clean energy jobs than fossil fuel jobs in Oregon
  • All 36 counties are home to clean energy workers.
  • 11,000 clean energy workers are in rural Oregon
  • 10.5% of clean energy workers are veterans

Small businesses will enjoy energy bill savings through upgrades made affordable with funds from Clean Energy Jobs. From installing clean power like solar to upgrading buildings to use energy more efficiently to switching off fossil fuels to more affordable electricity or biofuel to power cars and trucks, small businesses will see savings through clean energy upgrades. Funds from Clean Energy Jobs will help make these upgrades more affordable.

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

Tons. In fact, the state 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.

 

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