This video explains what’s being done now in Oregon to address our climate crisis. An expert panel discusses ways to reduce carbon emissions, while also providing jobs and improving the environment. The speakers represent the Portland Clean Energy Fund, Verde, Oregon Business for Climate, and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. Listen as they discuss their priorities and projects. Click the arrow below.
Our March 2021 Panel Discussion
What can we do here and now to reduce the threat of climate change? In March, the Portland LWV recorded an online panel discussion with local and state experts. Our speakers work for organizations that are addressing the climate emergency and environmental justice in Oregon. The recording is now available for viewing from the lwvpdx.org website.
The panel includes the following speakers.
- Cady Lister is the Deputy Director of the Portland Clean Energy Fund. Ms. Lister has nearly 20 years of experience in advocating for renewable energy and community engagement. She updates us on the Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund. In addition, she discusses the fund’s connection to environmental justice and to Portland’s Climate Action Plan.
- Oriana Magnera is the Energy and Climate Policy Coordinator for Verde. She leads their work on energy and climate policy. Her focus is on community-led participation and program development. Ms. Magnera also is a member of the Oregon Global Warming Commission and the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission. She discusses three current legislative bills on Affordable Energy, Healthy Homes, and 100% Clean Electricity. In addition, she talks about the transition to zero-emission transportation, as well as how to design programs that improve equity of access for vulnerable communities.
- Tim Miller, Director of Oregon Business for Climate, discusses the important role of business in addressing climate change. He serves on the boards of multiple climate policy organizations and has provided strategic consulting to over 30 clean-tech companies, non-profits, and agencies. He also has launched his own clean-tech start-up in the transportation sector.
- Richard Whitman is the Director of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. He discusses what DEQ is doing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He also explains DEQ’s involvement in legislative bills to combat climate change and the proposed move of the Environmental Justice Task Force into DEQ.
Robin Tokmakian moderates the program. A League member, Robin has represented the LWVUS since 2017 as part of the Observer Corps to the United Nations, with an emphasis on climate issues. She also serves as LWV Oregon’s representative to the NW Energy Coalition.
Making an energy transition
In the coming years, we must change the ways we produce and use energy. The League of Women Voters supports climate goals and policies that are consistent with the best available science and that will ensure a stable climate system for future generations. Our country and the Northwest are already experiencing extreme weather, drought, ocean warming and acidification, king tides and forest fires. We cannot wait to start making the changes needed to address this climate emergency.
Viewing this program
MetroEast Community Media recorded this program. Look for the recording on this LWVPDX website.
Below is the schedule for viewing the program on Portland area public access television channels.
Opportunities for member-volunteers
There are 3 ways to help from your home
1. Observer: a few hours a month. Sign in from your computer to listen to public meetings and hearings. This is an easy way to follow a legislative policy committee, a state agency and/or a commission. Take notes and report back to the LWV of Oregon.
2. Advocacy representative: a few hours for many weeks. As an advocacy representative, you can work with the LWVOR Natural Resources and Climate Emergency teams. You can review proposed climate-related plans. Then, help these advocacy teams influence rules and policies. The League especially needs volunteers to help us advocate for:
- Energy Efficient Buildings
- Protecting Public Health
- Capping and Reducing Industry Emissions
3. Legislative liaison: 10-30 hours – most months. Actively participate in the legislative process. You can recommend or write testimony on bills related to your policy topic. You also could lobby legislators, and/or work with other organizations fighting climate change. (This could mean spending some time at the Capitol with other volunteers. Choose how you want to work!)
What happened earlier this year
After years of work to develop a comprehensive climate bill, the 2020 Oregon Legislative Session ended without passing the bill. On March 8, 2020, the Governor released her Climate Policy Executive Order. You can read a summary of the Oregon Climate Action Plan (OCAP) and why it matters here. Or read Renew Oregon’s quick overview of the plan. Following the governor’s order, state agencies began making plans for reducing state greenhouse gas emissions.
Where does the LWV fit in?
The League works along with many other climate organizations, through Renew Oregon. We follow and have input into the rule-making process, as agencies carry out the governor’s order. We are focused on facilitating rapid reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.
The governor’s Executive Order moves the work on climate change into the work of state agencies and their commissions. Across the board, there is much to do.
New volunteers will be supported. Experienced volunteers will provide information and help.
Contact email@example.com to learn more and to volunteer.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Portland, Oregon heard the constitutional youth climate lawsuit, Juliana v. United States, on June 4, 2019. Counsel for youth plaintiffs, Julia Olson, argued on their behalf and an attorney from the Department of Justice argued on behalf of the federal government. The League of Women Voters supports the young people in their climate lawsuit against the US Government. You can view a recording of the hearing here.
In 2015, 21 young Americans filed a lawsuit ( Juliana v. United States) against the federal government for knowingly contributing to climate change and violating their constitutional rights. The Juliana v. US lawsuit established that young people have a constitutional right to “a climate system capable of sustaining human life.” That right is being violated.
the Portland Rally!
Hundreds of people rallied in Portand and watched a livestream of oral arguments at Director Park in downtown Portland. There was a press conference with the young plaintiffs following the hearing. In March 2019, Multnomah County, OR, filed a brief supporting the plaintiffs. Chair Kafoury and Multnomah Commissioners attended the rally.
The YouTube video of the hearing had 4,890 views by the evening of June 4.
Here’s an article with some history of the League of Women Voters, which will be 99 years old on February 14, 2019. The article also looks to our future as a nonpartisan organization that fosters civic engagement and stands for effective efficient government and equal rights for all. It was published on the “Who.What.Why Blog.” https://whowhatwhy.org/2019/01/07/league-of-women-voters-gets-trump-bump/ Below are some photos and a quote from the article.