REMARKS AS PREPARED
July 18, 2018
Good morning. I am thrilled to be here in Prineville this morning! Thank you, Scott for that kind introduction.
Thank you Mayor Roppe for hosting us today.
I’d also like to acknowledge Rep. McLane, Sen. Linthicum, as well as Judge Crawford and all our officials from the City of Prineville and Crook County. Your vision for the community has put Prineville on the map as the place where tech and growing businesses can thrive.
This partnership between Pacific Power, Facebook and the city of Prineville is a pioneering collaboration. Together, you are providing good jobs. Together, you are providing a pathway towards our students’ success. And together, you are working towards a clean energy future.
Prineville is a model for small communities around Oregon. It’s why Facebook made the decision to open its first ever, custom-built data center right here in Prineville. After nearly eight years, Facebook is expanding and adding two new buildings to the Prineville campus.
We’re thrilled Facebook is investing in Oregon, and to the local economy in Crook County. It’s also important that-- along with Pacific Power-- we’re continuing to work toward our shared vision of a thriving, 21st century green-energy economy for Oregon’s future.
The partnership between Facebook and Pacific Power will support 100 percent of Facebook’s energy needs.
And it is all renewable!
This new solar project will create more jobs, invest in our schools, and bring life to Prineville’s beautiful parks.
It’s an example of how investments in renewable energy are realized beyond the check book. You can see the benefits on nearly every corner in town.
This work is critical because the challenge of climate change impacts Oregon’s communities, our economy, and our way of life.
Already, I have declared drought disasters in six Oregon counties. These worsening drought conditions threaten our agricultural and food products industries, and the local economies they support.
Communities across the state are also challenged by water quality. Salem -- and more recently, Klamath County -- have experienced harmful algal blooms in their water supply due to increasingly warming temperatures.
And if the scale and intensity of wildfires in recent years are any indication, it’s clear we must confront climate change with a sense of urgency.
Oregonians have a proud tradition of environmental stewardship. That’s because we know that meeting the challenge of climate change and growing our economy are not mutually exclusive goals. Rather, they are both moral and economic imperatives.
The impacts of climate change will impact every single one of us-- regardless of jurisdictional boundaries. More challenging still, the impacts of climate change will hit rural communities and low-income families the hardest.
Fortunately, we’ve set Oregon on a path to reduce carbon and grow the clean economy of the future.
I was proud to sign into law the nation’s first “Coal-to-Clean” bill. It gives Oregon a future free from coal-powered electricity, and doubles the amount of clean, renewable energy to 50% by 2040.
And we continue to pursue innovative strategies to develop a green energy mix to fuel our growing economy.
As our utility partners like Pacific Power know, Oregon is rich in renewable energy resources – from hydro to wind, geothermal to solar. But the progress we’ve made tapping into those resources is based on our most important resource of all: our people.
Over 12,000 Oregonians work in the renewable energy field, and there are another over 41,000 energy efficiency jobs across the state. Currently, the growth rate for clean economy jobs is more than double that of other job sectors.
Today, I’m happy to announce -- in Lakeview -- Red Rock Biofuels is breaking ground on a new plant that will convert wood biomass into renewable fuel. The state is a partner in this project, which is expected to create hundreds of new, good-paying jobs.
With projects like these, we continue to demonstrate that Oregon is ready for the clean energy economy. Not to mention a wonderful place to live, work, and do business.
Supporting strategies to reduce the economic costs of climate change and make it easier for industries with low-carbon products to locate here is key to growing strong economies in every community across Oregon.
Thank you Facebook, and thank you Pacific Power for their partnership. We look forward to continuing to work with you, and we’re happy that you call Oregon home.