Our work
Image of workers building a solar array
Oregon Environmental Council works directly with businesses, elected officials, and community leaders across the state to take real and immediate action to curb the biggest driver of climate change: greenhouse gas emissions from the use of fossil fuels. By working now for lasting solutions, OEC helps protect the state against the costly and dangerous effects of extreme weather and air pollution while helping to build a strong clean energy economy for us all. Everything in our lives depends on the climate, from the food we eat to the water that supports our health, homes, and industries. But our climate is changing and the impacts are already being seen across Oregon: extreme heat that disproportionately harms vulnerable, frontline communities; changes to our ocean that threaten our fish and shellfish and the economies they support, and record low snow levels that cause drought and impact our tourism and recreation. OEC is acting now to reduce climate pollution and protect the Oregon we love, by supporting the transition to cleaner energy, cleaner fuels, and climate-friendly transportation options. The result will be cleaner air, a stronger economy, more jobs, and healthier communities.
Our Results
  • We championed the state’s most environmentally-friendly transportation package that provided dedicated funding for transit, incentives for electric cars, and took steps on managing congestion.
  • We passed the Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Act, a first-of-its-kind law to transition Oregon off of polluting coal-fired power while simultaneously DOUBLING the state’s commitment to clean electricity to 50 percent new, renewable energy — like solar and wind — by 2040. When combined with our legacy of hydropower, Oregon’s electricity mix will be more than 80 percent clean and renewable — some of the cleanest in the nation! Our state received global recognition for this pioneering law, and has created a model for getting off of coal that other states can follow.
  • We supported the innovative Clean Fuels Standard, which will cut climate warming pollution from transportation fuels by 10 percent.
  • We helped pass the Clean Car Standards, providing greater protections for our communities against tailpipe emissions and the dirty air and climate pollution these emissions cause. These standards were adopted at the federal level--multiplying the impact of Oregon’s actions.
  • We worked to pass our state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals, which are the second strongest such goals in the nations.
  • We need to account for the true cost of climate pollution on an economy-wide basis. Oregon has pledged to put a price on climate pollution as part of the Pacific Coast Collaborative. OEC is laying the foundation for Oregon to limit pollution and inspire other states to follow towards a national movement against pollution.
Learn more about OEC's top wins in 2020-2021!
Capping Climate Pollution: Oregon Climate Action Plan
In March 2020, Oregon Governor Kate Brown made history by taking sweeping executive action (EO 20-04) to address the climate crisis. Citing the scientific, economic and moral imperative for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adopting climate mitigation measures, the Oregon Climate Action Plan (OCAP) will ensure that Oregonians across the state benefit from a competitive economy and healthy communities. OCAP directs 16 different state agencies to take action in support of one primary overarching goal: reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon by at least 80% below 1990 levels by the year 2050. Learn more about this historic climate action. 
Clean sources, clean energy
Turning on our lights and running our refrigerators doesn’t have to wreck the climate. Energy efficiency and renewable energy--like wind and solar power--are widely available and ready for much broader use. In 2016, Oregon Environmental Council and partners helped pass the Clean Electricity, Coal Transition bill. It was a first-of-its-kind law to transition off coal, double the use of renewable energy, create a new community solar program, and allow utilities to start meaningful investments in recharging stations for electric cars, trucks, and buses. Making sure we use energy wisely is one of the best long-term solutions. The less energy we use, the fewer the impacts along the way. Energy efficiency, which includes everything from thicker wall insulation to smarter lighting and appliances, has been one of the most reliable and lasting ways to cut climate pollution. When combined with our legacy of hydropower, Oregon’s electricity mix will be more than 80% clean and renewable — some of the cleanest in the nation! Read more about how we got to this victory and sign up for OEC’s Grassroots Action and Information Network to be alerted to timely ways that you can help us act on climate. Making Oregon a Clean Energy Leader: Renew Oregon
Clean fuels
electric vehicle charging station
The transportation sector is the largest source of climate pollution in Oregon, responsible for nearly 40 percent of our total greenhouse gas emissions. Transportation pollution does not only affect our climate, but also fills our air with harmful toxins. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Cleaner fuels, like electricity and biogas, can power everything from garbage trucks to delivery trucks to the family car. The Oregon Clean Fuels Program requires transportation fuels to become less carbon intensive over time by swapping cleaner fuels for traditional gasoline and diesel. It’s one of the key transportation sector solutions for fighting climate pollution. OEC helped pass, defend, and ensure strong implementation for the program, which has already cut nearly 4 million metric tons of climate pollution, equal to taking nearly 800,000 cars off the road per year. Learn how the Oregon Climate Action Plan builds on these successes.
Clean transportation for all
The way we get around makes a real difference for our health and environment. Cars and trucks emit nearly 40 percent of Oregon’s climate pollution and more than one-half of Oregon’s air pollution. Runoff from streets and parking lots pollutes our water. Poorly planned roads lead to sprawl, which threatens Oregon’s forests and farms. Communities where residents can’t walk or bicycle safely have higher rates of chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart disease. It’s time for an eco-friendly transportation system that supports clean air, climate stability, and healthy families living in economically vibrant neighborhoods. A system that provides everyone—including those too young, too old, too poor, or physically unable to drive—with equitable access to the places they need and want to go. Find out more about Eco-friendly transportation solutions.
Promoting Climate-Resilient Agriculture
Photo of farmland along the Rogue River
Oregon’s natural and working lands are impacted by climate change, and with farmland covering more than a quarter of the state, our agriculture sector must be supported with policies that help farmers and rural communities succeed. The Oregon Climate Change Research Institute’s 2017 assessment predicts that warming temperatures, changing rain and snow patterns, droughts and increasing carbon dioxide levels will impact crop planting schedules, pest manage ment strategies, crop growth and yield, livestock health, soil retention and more.