Policy

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Oregon Values Held Strong on the 2018 Ballot

Oregon Environmental Council staff and board are feeling both grateful and energized to see how Oregonians voted on critical ballot measures in the 2018 midterm election. With 69.06% of eligible voters turning out across the state, Oregonians stood by healthy and safe communities as a priority. And Portland’s clean energy measure showed that Oregon is among the many states taking bold action to address climate change. The outcomes, as of 11/09/2018: Measure 102: PASSED with 56.77% of the vote. This measure will help Oregon respond to the unprecedented ...

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Untangling Measure 104

Hundreds of programs statewide that protect our favorite outdoor activities and our basic necessities, like air and water, rely on taxes and fees for those protections. But there’s a sneaky ballot measure on Tuesday’s election that threatens to do enormous harm to the Oregon Constitution

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Oregon Environmental Council’s voting guide for 2018 ballot measures

At Oregon Environmental Council, we believe civic engagement is important. Just as important as supporting healthy communities for Oregon's future. That's why we're taking a stand on these important ballot measures for the 2018 election. Don't forget to vote on NOVEMBER 6, 2018!    NO ON MEASURE 103 This constitutional amendment would permanently block taxes on so-called “groceries” and is so broadly written that it would exempt a wide range of transactions (e.g., food processing, trucking, fast food chains) from any taxes or fees. As one example, ...

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Jars full of air and other lessons

By Sabrina Cerquera, Environmental Health Intern“If you want to learn about the health of a population, look at the air they breathe, the water they drink, and the places where they live.” — HippocratesAs an environmental studies and political science student at Lewis & Clark College, I held this ancient quote in the forefront of my mind to remind me of two things: we all share the same land, air and water; and we must reflect on the past in order to move forward with change. In the past six weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to put these theories, as ...

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Vigilance must remain, despite departure of EPA chief

When Scott Pruitt was first appointed to head the Environmental Protection Agency, I was asked in an interview with Jefferson Public Radio whether he was really the worst ever pick for the agency. I replied “yes.”But even then, I could hardly imagine the damage the now former EPA chief would do. While ignoring decades of scientific research, Scott Pruitt gutted proposed rules for reviewing chemical safety (while rubber-stamping hundreds of new chemicals); rolled back a regulation that requires factories to run their air pollution control systems; was instrumental ...

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Carsharing in the U.S. turns 20

Oregon Environmental Council was there from start by Dave Brook, Senior Carsharing Consultant for team red internationalMost people know about Zipcar and Car2Go and ReachNow carsharing. But many don't know that commercial carsharing in the U.S. got its start in Portland 20 years ago. That's when start up company CarSharing Portland, founded by Dave Brook and staffed by Russell Martin (General Manager) and Maren Souders (Outreach & Customer Service), launched with two cars on March 28, 1998 at an old gas station at SE 21st and Division.Aware of commercial ...

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2018 Legislative Wrap: Healthy Strides

Beyond strong and historic support for Clean Energy Jobs, Oregon Environmental Council's work during the 2018 legislative session resulted in healthy strides in improving our air and our communities.We advocated to hold industry responsible for funding the Cleaner Air Oregon program. We helped secure student transportation funding and rebates for electric vehicles for low-income families. We advocated for a bill that sets a deadline for cleaning up dirty diesel buses, which unfortunately stalled in a committee.Headlines focused on our state’s work on a ...

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Healthy Success for Student Transit

School-age children around Oregon need better transportation options. Students in urban areas can't always to take transit to school when they miss the school bus, and students in rural areas have difficulty participating in sports and other after-school activities without activity buses. Some students can’t meet with a tutor after school because they don’t have a way home. And due to limited transportation options, some students are chronically late or absent, fall behind, and simply drop out of school altogether.During the 2018 legislative session, Oregon ...

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Clean Energy Jobs remains strong for 2019: an interactive roundup

Oregon’s desire for a cap-and-invest program has never been stronger and that strength will continue to grow until lawmakers finally pass this bill in 2019.Senate and House leadership, along with the Governor's Office, have committed to passing the Clean Energy Job bill next year during the longer session. While the 15,500 Oregonians who signed petitions urging adoption this session never saw the bill reach a floor vote, President Peter Courtney and Speaker Tina Kotek have announced the creation of a Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction that they will co-chair and ...

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Air quality action in Salem

2018 may go down in history as a hallmark year for climate action, but it’s not the only excitement in the air. In fact, the air itself is an exciting topic. Oregon legislators are considering ways to control diesel pollution and toxic air pollution from industry. In case you missed it, here are highlights from hearings in Salem this month:Antonio and Cassie, both high school students in Salem, testified about their concerns over diesel pollution and support for HB 4003 to retire dirty old heavy duty engines. Antonio talked about the burden his community faces from ...

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