During the 2017 Legislative Session, OCN is advocating for the following Priorities for a Healthy Oregon:
Clean Energy Jobs
We are working on a policy that will ensure a limit on carbon pollution that is cost-effective, benefits economically disadvantaged communities, and that will allow the Environmental Quality Commission to set a cap and a price on carbon pollution. By accounting for the true cost of carbon, Oregon can dramatically reduce climate pollution while improving our state’s economy and creating good jobs in the clean energy economy.
Retiring Oregon’s Dirtiest Diesel
The best available data suggests that air pollution from diesel engines leads to an unacceptable level of cancer risk and other health impacts. Exhaust from diesel engines is also a major source of black carbon, a potent contributor to climate change. New statutory authority is necessary for the DEQ to establish more stringent emissions standards and sources of funding are needed to reduce air pollution from older diesel engines, including vehicles and equipment.
Keeping the Elliott State Forest Public
The Elliott State Forest contains 82,000 acres, about half of which is old, native forests that have never been clearcut. Because of reduced logging revenues, the State Land Board, which directs management of the Elliott on behalf of the Common School Fund, has explored the sale of the forest. A proposal to privatize the Elliott was recently made by Lone Rock Timber. We are vigorously working to keep the Elliott in public hands.
Protecting Oregon’s Rivers
SB 3: Suction dredge mining – a form of recreational gold mining – involves vacuuming up riverbeds through a hose using a motorized floating dredge. This type of mining harms streams and native fish. It can smother critical spawning gravel for salmon; kill aquatic insects, fish eggs, and young fish; degrade stream habitats; and mobilize legacy mercury. A temporary, partial moratorium is in place. Our legislation creates permanent protections.
Transportation for Oregon’s Future
Oregon transit districts can’t keep up with demand, jeopardizing our economic competitiveness and the ability of those who can’t afford or aren’t able to drive to get to work and meet other daily needs. In many areas, it is unsafe to bicycle or walk. Gas and diesel are making our air unhealthy to breathe and changing our climate. To meet Oregonians’ needs, we must invest in a modern transportation system with safe, affordable, healthy options for everyone.
Supporting the State’s Budget
Funding for natural resource agencies and programs are of paramount importance. Oregon faces a $1.8 billion deficit heading into this legislative session. By working with the Governor’s office, agency staff, and the Ways & Means Committee members, OLCV’s budget specialist will advocate for stable funding, and give input for budget cuts as necessary.