Oregon Conservation Network Announces 2013 Legislative Priorities

Once again, the Oregon Conservation Network, a coalition of over 40 diverse organizations statewide, will work together this session to protect Oregon’s natural legacy.

As OCN nears its 20th anniversary, we will promote proactive policies – our Priorities for a Healthy Oregon – and fight bills that rollback important environmental protections – our Major Threats to a Healthy Oregon.

The 2013 Priorities for a Healthy Oregon areā€¦

Clean Fuels for Oregon: Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program can create thousands of jobs while reducing our state’s $7.7 billion-a-year dependence on imported gas and diesel. The Program encourages lower-carbon fuels like Oregon-made sustainable biofuels, electricity, natural gas, and propane, saves Oregonians money, and will improve air quality for every Oregon citizen. Removing the Program’s 2015 sunset will create the certainty the clean fuels industry needs to bring sustainable jobs to Oregon.

Protecting Oregon’s Water: Responsibly managing Oregon’s water helps ensure a legacy of healthy rivers for everyone and everything that depends on our water. From farmers to fish all Oregonians who depend on clean water, healthy stream flows and a stable water supply will benefit. A small fee on water rights across Oregon will create a reliable source of funding to promote better water management and support critically needed field and science tools for the Water Resources Department.

Energy Efficient Appliances: A key aspect of energy efficiency efforts is establishing strong standards for appliances used in homes and businesses. If appliances are built to use energy efficiently from the start, then less energy is needed to power those appliances. That means consumers have a lower power bills – and Oregon moves towards its conservation goals. 2013 legislation will establish standards for battery chargers, outdoor pole lighting, televisions, and plumbing fixtures.

Protecting More Rivers as Scenic Waterways: Scenic waterways protection will safeguard some of Oregon’s most beloved rivers, protecting drinking water, wild salmon, and the scenic values that make Oregon such a special place to live and play. Countless Oregonians depend on iconic waterways such as the Rogue, Umpqua, Sandy, Grande Ronde, and McKenzie for their unique economic, public health, and recreational benefits. Yet, many of these Oregon treasures face a growing threat from largely unregulated and destructive uses such as suction dredge mining. This would be the first extension of the State Scenic Waterways Act since 1988.

For more information on the 2013 Legislative Session and the OLCV Education Fund click here.