Media Room

PREPARED REMARKS
SB 1547 Bill Signing
03/11/16

Thank you, Superintendent Smith, and thank you to the students of James John Elementary. It’s very kind of you to allow us to take over your school for this short but important civic business.

Today, we are facing one of the most significant threats to Oregon’s economy, environment, and our very way of life – global climate change.

We see it every day. Persistent drought, devastating forest fires, fish die-offs, and a snowpack that can no longer be relied upon for our water supply.

Joining us for this signing are the children of James John Elementary. While some of them may not realize – or yet care – why we’re here, what we do today, we do for them. We owe them this.

As I’ve said many times before, future generations will rightly judge the morality and leadership of this generation not by the fact of climate change, but by how we responded to it.

Today, we are responding. Not for us, but for these children. 

And the best part of all, we did it together.

Knowing how important it is to Oregonians to act on climate change, a wide range of stakeholders came to the table. Working together, they found a path to best equip our state with the energy resource mix of the future. Now, Oregon will be less reliant on fossil fuels and shift our focus to clean energy.

I’m proud to sign a bill that moves Oregon forward, together with the shared values of current and future generations.

I want to personally thank the CEOs of PGE and Pacific Power: Jim Piro and Stefan Bird. I appreciate your leadership in working with the environmental community on these complicated and important issues with a vision of the future in mind. 

Thank you to the environmental and NGO community for their passion and leadership throughout the years, you have so much to celebrate with this important legislation. 

And finally, thank you to my colleagues in the legislature – Senators Lee Beyer and Chris Edwards. Your work to avoid this ballot measure and find compromise has paid off.  You have managed to thread the needle and make the concept more workable for utilities while keeping environmental goals intact. 

Oregon is known to be a leader in clean energy programs, investing in energy efficiency, and recognizing the risk of climate change; that leadership has paid off for us over the years. 

I am very proud of Oregon, my Oregon today.