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  • Richard Bonetti

Oregon State Government and the Climate Emergency


Voters ballots are due May 17, 2022 for Oregon's midterm primary election. Much of the past action addressing our climate emergency came from Governor Kate Brown's executive actions, because of a stymied legislature. That reality makes this race for the Governors office is particularly important.


Fifteen Democrats are on the ballot for Governor, but The Oregonian says that House Speaker Tina Kotek and state Treasurer, Tobias Read "were the winner and runner-up in a straw poll of party faithful at Oregon Democrats’ 2017 summit" and "a recent survey commissioned by Read showed the two Democrats in a tight race, with Kotek in the lead and more than 50% of likely primary voters undecided."


Kotek says she "voted to put Oregon on a path to 100% clean electricity." Read says "he’ll accelerate our investments in clean energy to battle climate change and prevent wildfires." Click here for a list of climate related actions Kotek proposes; Click here for Read's priorities regarding climate change.


Oregon Republican voters must choose from among 19 candidates for governor.

The Statesman Journal says that "six have set themselves apart with their fundraising success, each raising more than $500,000 this election cycle, according to state campaign finance records:" Christine Drazan, Bob Tiernan, Bridget Barton, Mayor Stan Pulliam and Jessica Gomez.


Christine Drazan is explicit in proposing to "end the costly cap-and trade program - In March of 2020, Governor Brown signed an executive order establishing a cap-and-trade style program in Oregon. This overreach is going to harm critical industries like timber, manufacturing and trucking and result in price increases across the board for Oregonians. I will repeal Governor Brown’s climate scheme on my first day in office." The websites of Bob Tiernan, Bridget Barton, Dr. Bud Pierce , Mayor Stan Pulliam and Jessica Gomez focus entirely on other issues - they may mention forest management and wildfires but do not specifically address climate change as a major issue.


Voters will elect Oregon's next Governor based on multiple factors even though climate change poses an existential issue. There are many other issues: gun violence/gun ownership rights; safe streets/homelessness; criminal justice reform/supporting police; mental health/drug abuse; women's reproductive rights/anti-abortion, right to life; wildfires; education; jobs; housing, health care....


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