FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oregon Environmental Council Announces Legislative Priorities for Oregon’s 2009 Legislative SessionDec 16, 2008
The Oregon Environmental Council (OEC) today announced its key priorities for Oregon’s 2009 legislative session.
“The Oregon Environmental Council’s legislative agenda is one that recognizes the need to address the economic crisis through job creation, protecting public health and responding to market demands,” said OEC legislative director Andrea Salinas, “these priorities will help solidify Oregon’s movement toward a clean future – a place where a healthy environment and economic prosperity not only coexist, but are integral to each other’s success.”
The Children’s Safe Product Act of 2009
OEC will work with legislators to address loopholes in children’s product safety in Oregon. The Children’s Safe Products Act will protect children from toxic chemicals in toys and other products by:
- requiring the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to identify chemicals in consumer products that are of high concern for children’s health
- requiring manufacturers to notify DHS and DEQ when chemicals of high concern are found in their children’s products
- prohibiting the use of known dangerous chemicals prevalent in children’s products, including phthalates and bisphenol A
- providing consumers with information to make safer buying choices
- authorizing DEQ to participate in an interstate clearinghouse to promote safer chemicals in consumer products in cooperation with other states and governmental entities
Global Warming Solutions
OEC will work to secure passage of Governor Kulongoski’s climate change package. This legislation will focus on four key areas: greenhouse gas reductions, energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable transportation. The package will include:
- a cap on carbon emissions from the state’s largest sources and direction to the Environmental Quality Commission to determine the best means to meet that cap
- strong energy efficiency measures, including a program for net zero emission buildings in the commercial and residential sectors
- a focus on expanding solar energy projects, progress on meeting the goal of 100% renewable energy for state government, and strengthening of the Business Energy Tax Credit to increase investment in renewable energy projects statewide
“By taking action now to slow global warming,” said Andrea Durbin, Executive Director of the Oregon Environmental Council, “Oregon stands to benefit from new economic and job opportunities in the clean energy and clean technology sectors. A well-crafted program to reduce carbon will put Oregon ahead of the curve in a rapidly changing economy and provide price stability in a volatile energy market.”
Healthy Schools Act of 2009
OEC worked with an advisory committee to develop the Oregon Healthy Schools Act, which will create high performing schools that reduce student and staff exposure to chemicals of concern, improve academic performance and staff productivity, integrate green building principles in the design and construction of school facilities, and reduce facility maintenance and operational costs. Specifically, the legislation will require:
- the use of green cleaning products
- the use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques
- a replacement timeline for cleaning up diesel school buses
- the use of green building design and construction techniques in all new schools
The Jobs and Transportation Act of 2009
OEC supports the Governor’s “Jobs and Transportation Act.” OEC participated in a Governor-convened stakeholder process to develop this forward-thinking transportation legislation, which is the most comprehensive and greenest transportation initiative in Oregon’s history. The goal is to ensure that legislators pass a package that harmonizes with the state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals, provides alternatives to driving alone, and meets other environmental and community needs.
More information, background and fact sheets on OEC’s legislative priorities can be found at http://www.oeconline.org/our-work/smart-policy.
About the Oregon Environmental Council
The Oregon Environmental Council safeguards what Oregonians love about Oregon – clean air and water, an unpolluted landscape and healthy food produced by local farmers. For 40 years we’ve been a champion for solutions to protect the health of every Oregonian and the health of the place we call home. Our vision for Oregon includes solving global warming, protecting kids from toxins, cleaning up our rivers, building sustainable economies, and ensuring healthy food and local farms. Find out more at www.oeconline.org.