REMARKS AS PREPARED
Inconvenient Sequel Screening
July 13, 2017
Good evening. I’d like to begin by thanking Renew Oregon for hosting this evening’s event. And thank you to Participant Media for bringing to Portland this special screening of An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.
The Inconvenient Truth was released over a decade ago. When it did, it was unfathomable to many that our planet is facing such a dire, dooms-day threat. Al Gore was dismissed as a quack. A latte-sipping Chicken Little. It was hard for many to hear that the sky is falling.
Well, it may not literally be falling, but it is getting warmer. Ocean levels are rising, and snowpack are declining. Entire species risk extinction, coastal communities throughout the world are already seeing the writing on the wall of what’s to come.
The past few years have been some of the hottest on record in the Pacific Northwest. Drought and wildfire threaten family incomes and local economies.
The Canyon Creek Complex fire burned 10,000 acres alone, and cost more than $240 million. And scientists project this trend in rising temperatures will be the new normal by mid-century.
Now, eleven years after the debut of the Inconvenient Truth, we’re still debating what science knows as fact: climate change is real. Communities and economies around the world will not exist as we know them if we don’t tackle this challenge and develop a cleaner, greener energy mix of the future.
Today, as we look forward to the release of the sequel to Inconvenient Truth, we can be proud of the steady progress we’re making to cut greenhouse gas emissions here in Oregon and along the West Coast, through the Pacific Coast Collaborative.
As we recently saw when Trump turned his back to the Paris Agreement, it is cities, states, and businesses that are stepping up as leaders on the front lines of the fight against climate change.
Here in Oregon, we have a strong tradition of fighting climate change and leading on environmental stewardship:
● Expedite closure of Oregon’s last remaining coal plant in Boardman.
● Invest in energy efficiency, pursue renewable energy development, and support alternative transportation fuels.
● “Coal-to-Clean” law that gives Oregon a future free from coal-powered electricity, while doubling the amount of clean, renewable energy to 50% by 2040.
And now we can list another important milestone: a $5.3 billion transportation package that will drive innovation and economic growth throughout the state.
● Institutionalized Clean Fuels Program
● Invests in greenhouse gas reduction through electric vehicle rebate program that include dedicated low-income rebates
● $1.3 billion for transit across Oregon
Looking ahead, I’m focused on pursuing policies to meaningfully reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while keeping energy reliable and costs affordable to support Oregon families and a thriving statewide economy.
While Oregon is a small part of the global climate challenge, we can play an important role in finding innovative solutions to preserve our natural resources, reduce carbon, and create a cleaner and greener energy mix of the future.
Despite the decision by the White House to retreat, I see it as our moral obligation and an economic imperative to fulfill the goals of the Paris Agreement.
The Paris Agreement is a blueprint for job creation, stability and global prosperity.
● Sacramento meeting with the Prime Minister of Fiji: the world is watching.
● I will travel to Bonn this November for the next Climate Change Conference because the Paris Agreement is our best chance we have to create jobs, promote trade, spur innovation, and preserve American competitiveness in a 21st century economy.
In addition to governors, mayors, and business leaders around the world who are committed to combating climate change, we know as individuals, we too can make big changes.
Let us stay committed to the fight against climate change. Future generations will judge this generation not on the fact of climate change, but how we responded to it.