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The 2011 Legislative Session

With a House evenly split between parties, a looming budget hole, and just six months to consider hundreds of bills with long-lasting consequences, the 2011 Oregon legislative session was quite a balancing act. With your support making us strong, we worked to ensure that some smart environmental policies passed and several reckless measures were defeated.

See our assessment of how our agenda fared in Oregon's 2011 legislative season.

Our biggest success was to win unanimous support for the Cool Schools bill, which will put Oregonians to work on energy efficiency upgrades for schools, saving school districts money and ensuring safer, healthier classrooms for our children.

We also brought to Oregon a new opportunity to cut traffic and pollution, attract new business and save people cash. We championed a bill that clears hurdles for peer-to peer car-sharing, through which individuals can rent their cars to neighbors with the ease of mind of full insurance coverage and a smooth rental transaction handled by a peer-to-peer car-sharing company.

Perhaps more challenging, if less visible, was the work we accomplished to fend off devastating threats to Oregon’s long-standing environmental programs aimed at protecting our well-being. With vigilance and tenacity, OEC’s staff helped prevent the most destructive proposals to slash clean water and air protections. We held our ground on programs that will create cleaner energy sources, cleaner fuel and shared responsibility among industries to keep pollution out of our rivers. We helped defend Oregon’s new standards to reduce toxic water pollution that ends up in Oregon fish and shellfish, endangering the people who eat them. We were able to save some important programs to protect air, water and land quality, but the Department of Environmental Quality will still bear more than its fair share of budget cuts.

It’s very disappointing to see politics mire progress on our simple, practical bill to address toxic bisphenol A (BPA) in children’s drink containers. Delaware, not Oregon, became the 10th state to ban BPA in these products this year. The good news—thanks to your support—is that we created a popular, high-profile campaign that resulted in a majority of lawmakers on record in support of the action. Now we will apply this momentum towards other strategies to earn the protections from toxic chemicals that all children deserve.

When politics get in the way of Oregon’s best interests, OEC is prepared to find other solutions and strategies to make progress. Thanks to your backing, we have many other tools in our chest that work to protect the Oregon we love.

See a short video on the ways that OEC works.

Keep on top of events in Salem
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Rep. Jason Conger (R-Bend)

Jason Conger"It was a genuine pleasure to work with OEC on HB 3162—a bill to reduce toxic chemicals in children’s products. The people at OEC are extraordinary—honest, professional, talented and dedicated. They make OEC a powerful advocate for positive change in Oregon."

Governor John Kitzhaber

Governor John Kitzhaber"Times change, but OEC remains a reliable voice in Salem for Oregon’s environment."

Oregon Conservation Network's 'Salem Watch'
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