Oregon Climate Action Plan is Urgent

Letter to Editor by Alan Journet.  Medford Mail Tribune,  April 09, 2021

Rural Oregonians know we are experiencing warming, reducing snowpack, plus increasing summer drought and consequent fire risk. We also know that global warming caused by human-induced greenhouse gas emissions is driving this trend.  Years of efforts to establish a statewide program to reduce emissions leading Oregon’s to align with jurisdictions across the globe taking similar steps have been thwarted by Republican legislators consistently blocking action.  This culminated in the Republican walk-outs in 2019 and 2020.

As a result, Governor Brown’s March 2020 Executive Order 20-04 charged relevant state agencies with developing plans to reduce emissions, promote carbon sequestration from the atmosphere, and do so through a social justice lens that recognizes some communities suffer greater disadvantages than others in the confrontation with climate change and the co-pollutants released by our fossil fuel-based energy economy.

As the agencies develop programs scheduled to take effect in January 2022, we note that some are approaching the task with energy and enthusiasm, while others are foot-dragging.  There is no problem facing life on this precious planet that is a greater threat than ongoing climate chaos, and none more urgent.  We encourage all agencies to develop programs that will achieve the EO goals with urgency.

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