Curious about climate science? Get the facts by reviewing the Pacific Northwest chapter of the National Climate Assessment, and then learn how to separate fact from fiction by watching this six-minute episode of the Global Weirding webseries by Dr. Katharine Hayhoe.
- From Tom McCall’s “Bottle Bill” in 1971 to Oregon State University’s research today into harnessing wave energy on the coast, our state has long led the nation in terms of creative and bold climate action. However, the vast majority of Oregonians recognize that we need to do more given the reality of climate change, which threatens the integrity of the natural world and is a threat to human livelihood both here at home and across the globe.
- It is common sense that polluters need to pay their fair share for the disproportional carbon dioxide “trash” they emit into our shared atmosphere. This is the simple idea behind HB 2020, the legislation that my 2020 general election opponent Mr. Boquist so adamantly opposed that during the 2019 walkout that he called himself a “political prisoner” simply because the majority of Oregonians wanted him to vote either yes or no on it.
- If HB 2020 or similar legislation were to pass, it would actually correct a market failure in our economy by making sure carbon pollution is priced properly. In other words, polluters would pay, and that revenue could be used to help Oregonians to a renewable energy economy and Oregon businesses (like our farms and ski resorts) adapt to a changing climate. Rather than “hurt businesses”, pricing carbon would incentivize Oregon businesses to innovate and adapt, finally leaving the 20th century fossil fuel boom behind and joining in on the 21st century clean energy economy.
- Of course, as this transition occurs it is vitally important to continue advocating for everyday workers to make sure they have the skills and opportunities they need to thrive in this new economy.
- This year, Oregon lawmakers bent over backwards and drafted SB 1530, a version of HB 2020 that effectively exempted rural Oregon communities from the direct costs of the original legislation. Unable to find a legitimate reason to argue against SB 1530, Mr. Boquist insinuated in a March op-ed to the Pamplin Media Group that SB 1530 was part of a “Chinese manipulation” conspiracy theory while providing no actual evidence for this supposed national security threat. The truth is, according to a 2019 Department of Defense report, “[t]he effects of a changing climate are a national security issue”; meanwhile the CNA Military Advisory Board (made up of retired Generals and Admirals) has recognized climate change as a top “conflict catalyst” as far back as 2007. Never mind the fact that fossil fuel dependencies entangle the United States with the whims and schemes of authoritarian regimes! While we must always remain vigilant against foreign interference from China and beyond, correcting for a failure in Oregon’s carbon dioxide markets so that our domestic polluters pay their fair share is simply not a plausible vulnerability.