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Oregon lawmakers seek national clean energy goals

Oregon lawmakers seek national clean energy goals

Senate, House Democrats want 50 percent clean energy by 2030

WASHINGTON - Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Reps. Suzanne Bonamici and Earl Blumenauer, all D-Ore.,introduced resolutions Thursday setting a national goal of producing more than 50 percent of America’s electricity from clean and carbon-free electricity sources by 2030 and calling for the enactment of new legislation to achieve this goal.

Showing the significant amount of support for this initiative, 30 senators and 103 House members cosponsored the “50x30 Resolutions.”. The 50x30 Resolutions have also been endorsed by the Union of Concerned Scientists, GreenLatinos, Green for All, Climate Hawks and the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Caucus.

“Pacific Northwesterners know that sea levels will continue to rise, wildfires will keep getting worse and water supplies will dwindle even more unless our country prioritizes putting points on the board against climate change,” Wyden said.  “Today, my colleagues and I are on the record that Congress must take meaningful action to move to a clean, low-carbon economy and take head-on the global challenge of climate change.”

“The future of our planet hangs in the balance, and we need to pivot rapidly from a fossil fuel economy to a clean energy economy,” Merkley said. “By setting an ambitious and achievable goal of 50% renewable energy by 2030, the United States will jump-start our green economy and position ourselves as the world leader in clean energy technology and job creation.”

“Oregon leads the way in moving us toward a clean energy future, but it will take national and global commitments to truly address climate change,” Bonamici said. “2015 was the warmest year on record, and it’s time Congress put clean energy on the agenda. By focusing investments on renewable resources, we can protect our environment and support new industries, new jobs, and innovative new energy sources.”

“Climate change is the greatest challenge of our time, and we cannot afford to wait to act. While we’ve seen progress to meet this challenge head on, especially in Oregon, Congress has repeatedly worked to undermine these efforts time and again. This has to change,” Blumenauer said. “These resolutions demonstrate that there is significant support in Congress for a clean energy future, and a recognition that the longer we continue unchecked carbon pollution, the greater the negative effects will be – and the harder it becomes to change course.”

On Wednesday, the Oregon Legislature passed a bill that would make Oregon the first state to enact legislation to eliminate its use of coal-fired power from the state’s biggest utilities. The state bill requires electricity in Oregon from those utilities to be 50 percent renewable energy by 2040.