Golden eagle at Zumwalt Prairie in Oregon
Golden Eagle Golden eagle at Zumwalt Prairie in Oregon © William Burkett

Newsroom

TNC Oregon Statement Regarding Climate Opponents’ Shut Down of Oregon Legislative Session

Portland, OR

The Oregon Legislature had the chance, and the votes, to take strong action to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change. Climate action is a priority for The Nature Conservancy, and we are disappointed that opponents’ efforts to undermine the legislative process during the February session delayed action to address this urgent conservation crisis.

The loss of Senate Bill 1530 is a loss for Oregon. The bill, a cap-and-invest policy, would have put a price on greenhouse gas emissions and invested funds to transition away from fossil fuels, reduce the risk of wildfires and restore natural and working lands.  The bill would have also helped frontline communities—particularly in rural Oregon—by protecting them from associated costs and helping them adapt to the impacts of climate change.

While SB 1530 was the focal point for this walkout, there is much more at stake here. The shut-down also blocked legislation to make Oregon’s communities and forests more resilient to wildfire, fund research on ocean acidification, mitigate habitat loss for the sage grouse and many other critical programs that would help Oregon’s people and ecosystems prevent and manage the effects of an ever-worsening climate change reality.

“This is a lost opportunity to make meaningful investments in the future of our rural and urban communities,” said Jim Desmond, State Director for The Nature Conservancy in Oregon. “We’re already seeing the impacts of climate change in Oregon with more intense and destructive wildfires, extreme temperatures, droughts and flooding. These issues affect all Oregonians but particularly those who live in rural communities. Oregon deserves swift action to ensure clean air, safe water, a healthy environment and a stable economy for all parts of the state.”

“We celebrate Governor Brown and the legislative leaders who championed the bill and worked incredibly hard to make it equitable for all Oregonians,” said Desmond. “We’re disappointed that the legislative process was undermined this year, as there are so many critical policy solutions Oregonians need and deserve. However, we are inspired by the thousands of Oregonians from varied backgrounds and different parts of the state who came forward to support SB 1530, and remain committed to partnering with them to enact smart and swift climate action in Oregon.”

 

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 79 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.