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Bend business owner, student back climate change measures

Three new Oregon climate change measures, backed by a Bend business owner and several supporters, are now one step closer to being included on the 2020 ballot.

Two of the measures — Initiative Petition 48 & 49 — fall under what’s called the 100% Clean Electricity ballot measure. It requires all electricity used in Oregon to be from completely carbon-free sources by 2045. The other — Initiative Petition 50 — is called the 100% Clean Economy measure. It requires the state to reduce greenhouse gas pollution and be completely carbon-free by 2050.

“We have been warned, ” Roger Worthington, Worthy Brewing founder and chief petitioner of the 100% Clean Economy measure, said Wednesday. ” Now it’s up to us to mitigate, to act, to change our ways.

“We’re not going to do it overnight. This is tough stuff. We’re not going to pull a switch and everything is going to be fine. It’s going to take a long time to slow down carbon pollution, to mitigate it. We can’t just stop it on a dime, but we can take measures to mitigate it. “

Worthington and other chief petitioners said they are upset at how legislators handled House Bill 2020 in June. That was the controversial Cap and Trade bill, which prompted 11 state Senate Republicans to leave the state Capitol in Salem for nine days.

The chief petitioners said the measures are aimed at helping save our planet for future generations.

“This is our way of sending a message that, by golly, for the sake of the children, for the sake of future generations, do something now! ” Worthington said. “Don’t talk about it — we need action! I believe in that old Native American proverb: We don’t inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. This is for the children. “

One junior at Bend Senior High School, a climate change activist, said that’s why she supports the proposals.

“My future kind of depends on it, because we really only have 11 years before the effects of climate change become irreversible, ” said Kira Gilbert. “If we don’t do everything that we can now to slow those down, then it’s going to be too late. “

Worthington said the measures just hit an important milestone. In less than three weeks, 6,000 signatures were collected to endorse the measures. That’s twice the required signatures needed to qualify for a ballot title.

Now, each of the measures needs 112,000 valid voter signatures before it can make the November 2020 ballot.

Here’s the news release from Oregonians for Clean Air:

Oregonians are lining up to support climate change ballot measures

Campaign turns in twice as many signatures than it needs, easily clearing the first hurdle to 2020 ballot

BEND, Ore. — Local supporters gathered today to celebrate an important milestone in the Clean Air ballot measure campaigns. Based on the speed with which sponsorship signatures were gathered, Oregonians are excited to pass the ballot measures that will transition Oregon into a sustainable, clean energy economy.

More than 6,000 signers across the state, including Crook, Deschutes, and Klamath County have quickly endorsed moving the three measures forward. This is twice the required signatures needed to qualify for a ballot title, and they were collected in less than three weeks.

This statewide enthusiasm is matched by polling done this year showing 70% of Oregonians support the Clean Energy ballot measures. The Clean Economy ballot measure concept is supported by 67% of Oregonians, who favor enforcing Oregon’s targets for reducing carbon emissions.

“Beer is plants and water. My business counts on healthy air, healthy soil, healthy farmland and clean water,” said Roger Worthington, chief petitioner of the 100% Clean Economy measure and owner of Worthy Brewery as well as Indie Hops, a local hop miller and purveyor. “Without action to reduce climate pollution, businesses like mine are at risk. That’s why 2020 is the year of climate action in Oregon, one way or another.”

Supporters announced they’re moving forward with the ballot measures as insurance against another failure of the state Legislature next year to pass the Clean Energy Jobs bill.

Measure supporters say the preferred path to reduce climate pollution is through legislation in 2020 that holds large, corporate polluters accountable for reducing dangerous emissions and provides important funds to help the state manage the effects of climate change.

Just last month, the Oregon Wildfire Council announced it would cost $4 billion to protect Oregon’s timberland and forests from wildfires that are now burning more frequently, longer and hotter than in the past. Dollars from the Clean Energy Jobs bill could be used to hire Oregonians for wildfire prevention work. All investment from the program would be earmarked for local and statewide projects that would create 50,000 jobs and support businesses to reduce their carbon footprints in the way Worthy Brewing has done. The ballot measures do not provide those dollars.

“Both legislation and ballot measures will meet our goals of reducing climate pollution for our communities, our economies, and the health of our people,” said Clean Electricity Chief Petitioner Lisa Adatto . “Because of limits to what ballot measures can do, we would be forgoing much-needed dollars for our community, but we would be able to give the state the authority to limit pollution and make sure Oregon is taking responsibility for our share of the problem. 2020 is going to be the year of climate action, one way or another.”

Supporters say they believe lawmakers will stand up to the powerful polluter lobby and pass legislation, but they are not taking any chances. The ballot measure campaign is moving ahead full steam, riding the public wave of support for climate action. Kira Gilbert, a junior at Bend Senior High School was one of 20,000 people who rallied last month across Oregon and Central Oregon, calling on adults to reduce carbon pollution before it is too late.

“I don’t know how much more plainly young people can say this: We are in an emergency situation,” said Gilbert. “If adults continue to delay and ignore the increased wildfire, rising oceans, and dirty air, my future and the futures of the next generations are uncertain. Voters will remember – we will all remember – if lawmakers fail to act.”

Now that sponsorship signatures for the measures are submitted, the measures are officially filed and the Oregon Attorney General will draft a ballot title. Upon final approval of the title, the campaigns can begin gathering the 112,000 signatures necessary to qualify for the 2020 ballot.

To get involved in the campaign, go to

The 100% Ready for Clean Air measures that will be on the ballot if lawmakers fail to act are:

100% Clean Economy ballot measure (Initiative Petition 50)- updates and enforces the climate pollution reduction targets already in Oregon law. It will require our state to reduce greenhouse gas pollution 50% below 1990 levels by 2035 and be 100% carbon-free by 2050, in line with what scientists say we must achieve.

100% Clean Electricity ballot measure (Initiative Petition 48 OR 49)- requires all electricity used in Oregon to be from 100% carbon-free sources by 2045, a target in line with our west coast neighbors Washington, Nevada and California. Today, more than 48% of Oregon’s electricity comes from coal and other fossil fuels, creating unhealthy and dangerous pollution. Clean electricity will be the backbone of a clean economy.

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