Portland's representatives in Congress, Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, and Oregon's U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley—all Democrats—have all signed onto the Green New Deal, a resolution that outlines an ambitious approach for addressing climate change.
The proposal championed by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Bronx), who has become the highest-profile new member of the House and among its most left-wing, has gained widespread support among Democrats.
The resolution calls for creating jobs and investing in infrastructure with an eye toward zero carbon emissions, clean and renewable energy sources. The scale of the ambition is laid out in the resolution—"whereas the Federal Government-led mobilizations during World War II and the New Deal created the greatest middle class that the United States has ever seen"—but the specifics of how that will be accomplished are not.
"Our climate is in a crisis, and we need big ideas and massive energy to create the movement that will address it," said Congressman Earl Blumenauer in a Feb. 7 statement.
"We must invest in clean energy jobs, green infrastructure, and sustainable agriculture in a way that is equitable and just. I am excited about this bold vision being driven by Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez and am proud to back this resolution as our first step toward enacting the Green New Deal."
The effort has been echoed by a local campaign for an Oregon Green New Deal that Blumenauer has also joined.
The backers of the local deal have offered some specifics, including a ban on new fossil fuel infrastructure.
“Climate advocates and local elected officials in the Pacific Northwest have stepped in where our federal government has failed us — calling for an end to new fossil fuel infrastructure because climate science tells us we must,” says Nick Caleb, staff attorney for the Portland, Oregon-based Center for Sustainable Economy, “With so many fossil fuel projects still being proposed, we now need all elected officials who want to act on climate to band together and enact moratoria on all new fossil fuel infrastructure as part of a Green New Deal.”
Other backers of the local effort include Metro Councilor Juan Carlos Gonzalez, and Portland Commissioner Chloe Eudaly as well as OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, APANO (Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon), Rogue Climate, PCUN (Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste), Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, Unite Oregon, Portland African American Leadership Forum (PAALF), Beyond Toxics, NAACP Lane County, 350 PDX, 350 Eugene, 350 Deschutes, Center for Sustainable Economy, Audubon Society of Portland, and Sustainable Energy and Economy Network.