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What we’re doing in Oregon to fight the climate crisis

The summer is gone and the fall is here. The leaves are turning, the air has a chill, and we're getting ready for winter.

As the seasons change, it's a good time to think about what we're doing to preserve Oregon's clean air, land, and water – and fight back against the climate crisis.

Here in Oregon, I am proud of the Senate Democrats' environmental legacy. This past session, we passed the largest investment ever to tackle the climate crisis. A few highlights:

  • Funding resiliency and energy efficiency in buildings and establishing statewide performance standards for existing commercial buildings. This includes creating a grant fund for building-owners who want to transition early. We also codified greenhouse reduction standards for new construction.

  • Grants to develop green infrastructure projects, native seed banks, and assist environmental justice communities. The law also directs state agencies to monitor and respond to harmful algae blooms.

  • $10 million for Community Resilience Hubs—permanent shelters to be built to house Oregonians across the state during emergencies and natural disasters.

  • $10 million to establish the Natural and Working Lands Fund. This will provide incentives and financial assistance to help landowners, tribes, and communities who want to sequester carbon on their lands.

  • $10 million to the Residential Solar Rebate Program.

Of course, we know the work here is far from done.

2023 was the hottest summer globally on record. It is critical now more than ever to support candidates who recognize that the climate crisis is the issue of our time, and those who will never waver from defending Oregon's place as an environmental leader in our nation.

Rob Wagner & Dan Rayfield with Lindsey Scholten, OLCV

I was proud this past week to have earned the 2023 Perseverance Award from the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, alongside my friend, Speaker Dan Rayfield. It was a tough session, for sure. But we held strong, we didn't give in, and we made progress on climate justice for all Oregonians.

Posted on November 3, 2023.