Gov. Brown signs executive order to fight climate change in Oregon

The order directs state agencies to put new measures into effect that will lower the state's greenhouse gas emissions.

Posted: Mar 10, 2020 12:26 PM
Updated: Mar 10, 2020 1:17 PM

SALEM, Ore. (KGW) — Gov. Kate Brown on Tuesday signed an executive order to fight climate change in Oregon.

The order directs state agencies to put new measures into effect that will lower the state's greenhouse gas emissions.

"I’ve heard it loud and clear from our young people in Oregon: Climate action is crucial and urgent. If we adults don’t take action right away, it is the next generation that will pay the price," Brown said. "We owe it to them to do our part to ensure that the globe they inherit is on a better trajectory than the one it’s on today."

The executive order updates existing state carbon emissions goals. It sets a standard of 45% reduction from 1990 levels by 2035 and an 80% reduction from 1990 levels by 2050.

The action by Gov. Brown follows a legislative session where Republican lawmakers walked out again over a cap and trade bill that aimed to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The walkout was a repeat of two during the 2019 session: one over a similar climate bill and one for a tax to support education.

"Unfortunately the Republican walkout has forced me to take executive action," said Brown.

Brown’s order includes several initiatives to reach the state’s new climate goals, including doubling Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program; increasing energy efficiency requirements for new buildings and appliances; creating a plan to increase the usage of electric vehicles; and setting climate pollution caps on transportation fuels, natural gas, and large industrial polluters.

Sen. Herman Baertschiger, Jr., leader of the minority Republicans in the state Senate, told fellow lawmakers that Brown's executive action would wind up in court.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Below is the full executive order:

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