E2: Failure to pass cap-and-invest a missed economic opportunity for Oregon to become national destination for clean energy development

SALEM, OR Oregon’s state legislature failed to pass the cap-and-invest Clean Energy Jobs bill (HB 2020 B) before the end of the 2019 Oregon State legislative session. Despite the bill having strong legislative support throughout the session, for the third year in a row the state missed a key opportunity to seize America’s clean energy leadership and become a national destination for millions of dollars in clean technology investments and thousands of new jobs.

Following Senate Republicans return to Salem, the bill was sent back to committee where it died with the conclusion of the 2019 session.

HB 2020 passed out of the State House 36-24 on June 17.

The following is reaction from the national, nonpartisan business group E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs), which has engaged its network of Oregon business leaders in advocating for passage of cap-and-invest for several years:

“Cap-and-invest would have established Oregon as a national and global leader in the shift towards the clean energy economy of the future. It’s a missed opportunity for Oregon’s economy and a failed promise to Oregonians threatened by the fires, droughts, flooding, and other catastrophic impacts of escalating climate change. HB 2020 was smart policy – it would have provided the market structures to end Oregon’s unsustainable reliance on fossil fuels and the clear market signal to accelerate our transition to a prosperous, low-carbon economy. E2’s business leaders stand steadfast with Oregon businesses and other partners committed to passing cap-and-invest.”

Chris Dennett, E2 Pacific Northwest chapter director; Director of Strategy and Integration at Hood River-based Tofurky.

“The failure of Oregon’s legislature to pass cap-and-invest is a failure to invest in Oregon’s long-term economic growth. E2’s Oregon business leaders remain committed to advancing bold climate action and the economic promise of smart clean energy policy. We remain energized to work with Governor Brown and legislative climate champions on cap-and-invest. We lost this round due to foul play, but climate change is the defining issue of our time and we remain committed to winning.

Andy Wunder, E2 Western States Advocate

According to E2’s Clean Jobs Oregon report, more than 55,000 Oregonians work in clean energy in every part of the state.

“Oregon’s clean energy economy success to date is just the beginning. With cap-and-invest, those jobs – in fields ranging from wind and solar to energy efficiency and clean vehicles – would continue to grow.  We must capture this opportunity. There is no time to waste and we implore lawmakers to advance Oregon’s clean energy economy immediately,” Wunder added.

As drafted, HB2020 would have positioned Oregon as the second U.S. state with an economy-wide carbon pricing program. Without cap-and-invest, Oregon will fail to meet its greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals.

E2’s network of Oregon business leaders proudly stand behind Governor Brown and legislative climate champions and remain committed to driving bold climate action that advances Oregon’s clean energy economy.

Additional Resources:

For interviews or more information, contact E2 Western States Advocate Andy Wunder (awunder@e2.org; 415-549-6648) or E2 Advocate Zach Amittay (zamittay@e2.or; 415-875-6019)

About E2:

E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs) is a national, nonpartisan group of business leaders, investors, and professionals from every sector of the economy who advocate for smart policies that are good for the economy and good for the environment. Our members have founded or funded more than 2,500 companies, created more than 600,000 jobs, and manage more than $100 billion in venture and private equity capital. For more information, see www.e2.org or follow us on Twitter at @e2org.