FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 1, 2017
Portland, Oregon and Multnomah County Approve 100% Renewable Energy Commitment
As Trump Withdraws From Paris Agreement, Oregonians Cheer for Leadership on Climate from Local Leaders
PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Portland City Council and Multnomah County Commission today committed to transition all of Portland and Multnomah County to 100 percent clean, renewable energy by 2050. Portland represents the first city in the Northwest to establish this goal and Multnomah County is the first county in the United States to commit to transition entirely to renewable energy.
The same day that Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris climate agreement, the commitments from Oregon’s largest city and county reinforce that local leaders can and will continue to drive the transition away from fossil fuels to clean, renewable sources of energy like wind and solar.
Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson issued the following statement:
“In order to protect our environment and our communities from the threat posed by the Trump administration’s climate policies, local and state jurisdictions must step forward to make up the difference when crafting environmental policy. I am proud of the work we have done engaging stakeholders and the public on this important commitment. We must continue to lead the way.”
Sierra Club Oregon Chapter Director Erica Stock issued the following statement:
“Once again, Oregon is leading the way. We can’t count on our federal government to make progress on climate change over the next four years, so cities and towns across the U.S. are stepping up. Today Portland and Multnomah County made our position very clear: we want to be powered with 100 percent renewable energy, and we’re willing to do the work it takes to get us there. That means saying no to new fossil fuel infrastructure like the fracked gas plants in Boardman currently proposed by PGE. We don’t need fracked gas because Portland and Multnomah County can and will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy - not dirty fossil fuels.”
Mia Reback, Lead Organizer, 350PDX issued the following:
“The City of Portland is continuing to lead the charge to transition off of climate disrupting fossil fuels and onto 100 percent renewable energy. In the face of federal climate denial and inaction, the grassroots is fighting to ensure we meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement through local action that centers equity and climate justice. We are excited that the City of Portland and Multnomah County are building off past policies to prohibit new fossil fuel infrastructure and to divest from fossil fuels and are now setting a bold vision for our community to transition to 100 percent renewable energy!”
David Van’t Hof, Acting Oregon Director, Climate Solutions issued the following statement:
“This is a majorstep forward. Bold climate action is needed to prevent dramatic climate disruption, and we’re proud to see Portland and Multnomah County leading the charge. The Northwest can transition to 100 percent clean energy faster than anywhere else in the country. ”
Regna Merritt, Healthy Climate Director, Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility issued the following statement:
“Climate change is already harming our health. It contributes to heat stroke, dangerous extreme weather, the spread of insect-borne and water-borne diseases and sea level rise. Low income and communities of color are most harmed by the changes for which they are least responsible. Elected leaders of Multnomah County and the City of Portland are again world leaders in facing the greatest public health challenge - and opportunity - of our times.”
Dan Serres, Conservation Director, Columbia Riverkeeper issued the following statement:
"The push for clean energy is all the more important in the wake of PGE's controversial effort to lock in decades of fracked gas power for Portlanders. Through these resolutions, Portland and Multnomah County are taking a critical step to ensure that more fracked gas power plants aren't built in our region."
Michael O’Leary, Spokesperson, National Wildlife Federation issued the following statement:
“Increasingly hot ocean and river temperatures are killing our salmon. With this year’s Columbia River spring chinook run on track to be among the worst in modern history, and with this summer’s Columbia River steelhead run so devastated that we won’t be catching *any* this year at all, we don’t have any time to waste in addressing climate change. We couldn’t be more grateful for the City of Portland and Multnomah County to push us all faster towards the renewable energy future that our fish and wildlife need to survive. The National Wildlife Federation applauds Portland’s and Multnomah County’s efforts to source 100 percent of their energy from renewables and we look forward to working with and supporting a process to establish well-rounded renewable practices that make sense both for the fish, wildlife, and people of our region.”
The Portland and Multnomah County commitments are a crucial step in transitioning electricity for all 766,000 residents and businesses within the City and County to 100 percent renewable sources no later than 2035. The city and county will transition all sectors, including transportation, heating, and industry to 100 percent clean energy by 2050.
As part of the 100 percent renewable energy goals, the city and county affirmed their commitment to the Paris Climate Accord. They will also prioritize energy efficiency, the development of local clean energy projects and reducing the energy cost burden for low-income communities . Additionally, the city and county established a commitment to work in close coordination with Oregon Tribes, communities of color, and low income communities through this transition.