Since 1969, Oregon Environmental Council staff and volunteers have worked every legislative session in Salem to advance effective public policies that safeguard Oregon's future.
Since 1969, Oregon Environmental Council staff and volunteers have worked every legislative session in Salem to advance effective public policies that safeguard Oregon's future. Check out some of our history making results.
2014 legislative priorities
OEC will be very active in Oregon's 2014 "short" legislative session. We'll defend against bills that would undermine Oregon's environmental protections, and we will forward priorities to safeguard our communities and economies from climate change and to protect children's health from toxic chemicals.
2013 legislative wrap-up
Check out our report card for the 2013 legislative session, showing where our lawmakers made the grade--or need improvement--in safeguarding the Oregon we love.
OEC introduced and led an effort to establish and fund Oregon’s first statewide program to reduce pesticide contamination in our waterways. Pilot pesticide stewardship programs have reduced unsafe levels of pesticides found in streams by more than 90%.
We also worked with our partners to improve summertime streamflows for fish and wildlife by making sure farmers can continue to irrigate for part of the year and leave water in-stream when it is most needed.
Working with our partners (Bicycle Transportation Alliance, Oregon Walks, 1000 Friends of Oregon and Transportation for America), OEC helped secure a new source of funding for bicycle and pedestrian trails in the state. For the first time, these “active transportation” projects will be eligible for funding from a pool typically used for freight transportation.
We also helped secure a new program in Oregon to encourage disclosure about the energy efficiency of our homes, similar to fuel efficiency ratings for cars, as well as valuation of energy efficiency improvements during the appraisal process.
And perhaps most surprisingly, we started a conversation about Oregon adopting a carbon tax as a way to address the state’s perennial revenue problems and climate change. With bipartisan support, the legislature agreed to study how a carbon tax could work for the state. OEC will be part of those discussions.
Unfortunately, two of OEC’s environmental priorities fell short this session.
In a tie vote the Oregon Senate failed to remove the sunset on Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program, a major part of the state’s plan to reduce carbon pollution from transportation. OEC will continue to work with our nearly 120 partners to ensure the legislature lifts the sunset before 2015 so that Oregon households and businesses will have more options to consume less oil, reduce carbon pollution and clean up our air.
Likewise, in spite of bipartisan and significant support in the Oregon House, the Senate failed to pass the Toxics Disclosure for Healthy Kids Act. We will come back again next year to pass this bill to protect Oregon’s children from dangerous chemicals in toys, car seats and other children’s products.
We greatly appreciate your support and investment in OEC’s work to safeguard Oregon’s environment and demonstrate and inspire environmental leadership nationally.
image by Edmund Garman