Governor signs climate change legislation

Gov. Ted Kulongoski signed the state’s first climate change legislation Tuesday, capping what he called the “most momentous legislative session for energy and the environment in more than 30 years in Oregon.”

The bill sets ambitious standards for greenhouse gas reduction in Oregon, including reducing greenhouse gas levels by 75 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

The state’s greenhouse gases have been on the rise, according to federal data. Oregonians emitted 30.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, a powerful greenhouse gas, in 1990. In 2003, Oregonians emitted 40.4 million metric tons, a 32 percent increase.

The legislation, House Bill 3543, establishes both an Oregon Climate Change Research Institute within the Department of Higher Education and an Oregon Global Warming Commission. The Global Warming Commission will be charged with spearheading the greenhouse gas reduction efforts.

Despite the success of the bill, Kulongoski said he’ll revisit the issue in the 2009 session when he asks legislators to create a cap and trade system for carbon emissions.

“If you want to know where I’m going in this next session, this is the issue,” the governor said.

The governor also announced a new state effort to draft a comprehensive inventory of the state’s carbon footprint, the first such audit in the nation. He also announced that he has asked the Department of Environmental Quality to draft greenhouse gas reporting rules for the private sector.

Several winemakers attended the bill signing, saying they have committed to offsetting or eliminating all of their greenhouse gas emissions within 18 months.

8.3-8.5 Pick-A-Thon

Join us at the largest sustainable event west of the Mississippi. Folk greats like The Avett Brothers represent the foot stompin’ good time. We are providing transportation for the bands each evening!

“Islands of People”

Islands of People-

I don’t believe that the solutions in society will come from the left or the right or the north or the south. They will come from islands within those organizations; islands of people with integrity who want to do something…

—Robèrt Karl-Henrik

Ecoshuttle is here. We are a small island of people who want to do something. This blog, Islands of People, has been created with the intent to inform its readers about issues that matter to us. I hope it will be a place that people come to learn and engage global and local issues as they relate to our business and our customers interests.