Governor Brown sets new goals for climate action

SALEM, Ore. – Governor Kate Brown is taking executive action on climate change in Oregon.

Democrats signature Cap-and-Trade bill died in the legislature, along with dozens of other bills, after Republicans walked out of the Senate for the second year in a row. Monday, the Joint Legislative Emergency Board allocated more than $20 million in emergency funding to tackle issues that weren’t addressed during the recent session.

“This is the most ambitious clean fuels goal in the country,” Oregon Governor Kate Brown said prior to signing an executive order Tuesday to address climate change.

However, it bears some similarities to democrats cap and trade efforts in the legislature.

“A smart approach can both protect the environment and continue to grow our economy,” Governor Brown said.

The executive order sets a new goal of reducing greenhouse gases 45% below 1990 levels by 2035 and 80% by 2050.

“The tools available to me as an executive through executive action are sector-by-sector reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Governor Brown said.

But the Governor can’t create cap and trade, the way Democrats hoped.

Governor Brown continues, “What I don’t have the ability to do as the executive is create a carbon market.”

The order directs the Environmental Quality Commission to set and enforce sector-specific caps on climate pollution for three of the largest sources of emissions in Oregon: transportation fuels, natural gas, and large industrial polluters.

“These efforts will reduce emissions from transportation and industry. As huge contributors to climate change, that’s really important,” Governor Brown says.

It will also double the clean fuels program, increase energy efficient requirements in buildings, encourage electric vehicle transportation, and accelerate the transition to clean energy resources in the utility sector.

“If we don’t take action right away, it is the next generation that will pay the price. Neglect on our part will mean their loss. And that is simply unacceptable,” Governor Brown said.

The order also sets a precedent to make climate policy top priority for all agency making decisions.

You can read our previous story HERE

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