Once again, we find ourselves at a decisive moment for climate action in Oregon. And once again, E2 and our community of Oregon business leaders are at the heart of the effort.
As you likely know, last June Oregon was on the brink of passing a statewide Cap-and-Invest carbon pricing program — standing only a State Senate floor vote away from becoming the second state (behind California) to institute an economy-wide price on carbon. But that proposal died on the vine after the Senate Republican Caucus fled the Capitol — denying a quorum — and held the session hostage until the bill was withdrawn from consideration. Thankfully, that ugly ending did not deter climate champions from gearing up for a repeat attempt in 2020, and E2 has redoubled its efforts as well, capitalizing on its unique position as a business voice organization to highlight the economic case for Cap-and-Invest.
Our work in Oregon since the end of the 2019 session has run the advocacy gamut and is a powerful reflection of the array of advocacy tools E2 will deploy to drive policy victories. In September and November 2019, E2 executed small advocacy days in Salem, ensuring Cap-and-Invest remained a legislative priority as lawmakers prepared for the 2020 short session. Also in November 2019, E2 released and promoted its Clean Jobs Oregon 2019 report and its district-level clean energy economy factsheets, both impactful advocacy instruments that received widespread press coverage.
Since the start of 2020, E2 has orchestrated a surge of advocacy activity to make sure the Oregon business voice in support of Cap-and-Invest couldn’t be ignored:
- We raised awareness of the business case for climate action by working with E2 member Jon Powers to publish an Op-Ed in the Portland Business Journal in support of Cap-and-Invest;
- We recruited delegations of influential business voices in target districts and executed in-district meetings with five key Senators, including three Republicans;
- We participated in a press conference highlighting businesses in support of Cap-and-Invest, with Chapter Co-Director Erik Wohlgemuth speaking on E2’s behalf;
- We organized and executed our flagship business advocacy day in Salem, bringing together a delegation of 20 business voices for meetings with 40 key state lawmakers in both chambers and on both sides of the political aisle — including a private meeting with Governor Kate Brown (pictured above);
- And now, we’re mobilizing E2’s statewide business network to submit written testimony as business leaders and on behalf of their businesses.
In all these meetings and in the follow up that continues this week, E2 and its delegation of business leaders delivered the economic case for climate action, leveraging our reports and business voices to drive our message home with legislators.
While the fate of Cap-and-Invest in 2020 still hangs in the balance, E2 will continue to work to ensure that the business voice for climate action is heard loud and clear throughout Oregon. If you do business in Oregon or have professional connections who operate in the state, please reach out to get involved in this effort!
On the Brink of Historic Climate Action, E2 Delivers Business Support for Cap-and-Invest in Oregon was originally published in e2org on Medium.