Media Room

REMARKS AS PREPARED

EV Roadmap 11 Conference
June 20, 2018
 
Maria, thank you for that generous introduction. PGE has been a fantastic partner with the state, as we work to create the clean, green energy mix of the future.

Thank you Forth— and Jeff Allen— for organizing this year’s Roadmap 11 Conference.

Oregon is thrilled to host the largest electric, smart mobility conference in the nation, right here in Portland. And each year, the conference continues to grow, and attract policy makers, innovators, transportation wonks, and tech nerds from around the world.

We are extremely proud of Oregon’s history of land use planning, and of Portland’s evolving transportation system. What sets us apart from many urban centers is our early embrace of a robust public transit system-- everything from bus service, to light rail and street cars, to the iconic aerial tram.

Speaking of the aerial tram—I encourage you to take a ride and enjoy the beautiful views this week, before it temporarily closes for maintenance this weekend.

I’d also like to acknowledge and welcome our transit authority-- TriMet-- and our new General Manager Doug Kelsey. Thank you for your leadership, Doug.

We know an efficient, well managed transit system is key to creating thriving cities and strong local economies. Transit is also critical to our efforts to both reduce traffic and combat climate change.

As we think about our transportation system and how we’re building vibrant cities of the future, I’m encouraged that more and more, we’re taking a more people-oriented approach to city planning.

Most cities in the United States were built for cars. Not for the people and families who live, work, and play in our communities.

That’s changing. We are now transforming cities to make way for a variety of smart, flexible transportation options to meet our daily needs.

Technology is helping achieve this vision.

Technology, and the “Internet of things,” has brought about exciting, new transportation options that weren’t conceivable 20 years ago. Options that-- admittedly—policy makers, like myself, never expected.

From ride-hailing apps, to autonomous vehicles, UAVs, or those zippy, electric scooters-- technology is challenging us to rethink and reimagine transportation and our cities of the future.

What’s especially exciting, is how the new technologies and transportation options can help us tackle the most pressing problem of our generation: Climate Change.

Climate change poses the greatest threat to our communities, our economy, and our way of life.

Here in Oregon, we have a proud tradition of environmental stewardship. We’ve been on the forefront of the fight against climate change for decades. 

●   Starting with our approach to land use planning and creating the nation’s first bottle deposit program.
●   And, with the help of utilities, like PGE, we took action to expedite the closure of Oregon’s last remaining coal plant in Boardman.
●   I was also proud to sign into law the nation’s first “Coal-to-Clean” bill. It gives Oregon a future free from coal-powered electricity, while doubling the amount of renewable energy to 50%
     by 2040.

We’re blazing new trails in Oregon. We’re investing in and expanding the West Coast Electric Highway. And last year, I signed an executive order that set a new benchmark for Oregon. It sets us on an accelerated track to get 50,000 or more electric vehicles on the road by 2020.

Under my leadership, we’re going to continue to do more. To pursue new strategies to meaningfully reduce carbon emissions, and grow Oregon’s economy of the future.

Despite the Trump Administration’s decision to retreat from the Paris Agreement, Oregon— and the entire West Coast— have said to the world, “We are still in!”

Despite the decision to cut vehicle emission standards, Oregon is moving forward to build a 21st Century transportation system, fueled by clean, green energy sources. 

Oregon is already experiencing the impacts of climate change. Wildfires are burning hotter and longer than ever before. The fires last year in The Gorge and Chetco Bar devastated the landscapes. But they also impacted local economies, closed I-84—a major freight route, and forced Cycle Oregon to cancel for the first time in its 30 year history.

If that isn’t enough, algae blooms in the Mid-Willamette Valley should be a wake-up call. Over the past few weeks, warmer than usual temperatures caused algae blooms in Salem’s water supply, prompting a drinking water advisory for vulnerable populations. Experts now predict that these algae blooms will occur more frequently and affect more communities as seasonal temperatures continue to rise.

If these effects are any indication, we must act with a sense of urgency to combat climate change.

But in these times of crisis, there are also great opportunities.

Opportunities to create more equitable and sustainable communities. Opportunities to envision a new economy and create more jobs. 
 
How we get from one place to another matters. And Oregon is the ideal place to test-drive the future of a 21st-century transportation system. 

More and more, Oregonians are turning to electric vehicles as a clean, cost effective transportation option. Last year, we created a transportation package that offers low income and working families a Charge Ahead rebate for any new or used electric vehicle.

Thanks to Forth, and its statewide network of partners, we’re making electric vehicle ownership accessible to even more Oregonians. All while supporting the continued innovation in Oregon’s related industries, and growing a thriving Oregon economy.
 
We know that a strong economy and addressing the challenge of climate change are not mutually exclusive goals.

This is why your work and focus on electric vehicles and EV infrastructure is critically important. 

As Governor of Oregon, I will continue to work with leaders on the West Coast, across the country, and around the world to address the challenge of climate change, decarbonize our energy supply, and develop a transportation network to carry us forward.

As part of that effort, I am happy to announce, for the first time ever, Oregon will host the International Electric Vehicles Symposium & Exhibition in 2020.

I hope you enjoy your time here at Roadmap 11, and that we see you again in 2020.

It’s now my privilege to welcome to the stage, Genevieve Cullen, President of the Electric Drive Transportation Association, the national organizers of the International Electric Vehicles Symposium & Exhibition.