|Willamette Valley, Oregon|
Taking the Lead
By Eva Sylwester
November 1, 2007
"Global warming: A problem that requires the cooperation of the world to solve.
Action at the state level and collaboration between states is still an important part of the solution — even though measures taken at the different levels of government involved can conflict with each other.
Speakers at the "Combating Climate Change on the Regional Level: West Coast Policy and Litigation" symposium at the UO School of Law on Oct. 19 addressed these issues. The Journal of Environmental Law and Litigation, which UO law students produce, and the Bowerman Center for Environmental Law sponsored the symposium.
State Sen. Brad Avakian (D-Beaverton), one of the symposium's keynote speakers, said Oregon's government has a historical record of acting for the betterment of society, as in the 1967 Beaches Bill and the 1971 Bottle Bill.
"We lost that in the last couple of decades, but the last legislative session was a turning point," Avakian said. "It was the beginning of a cultural shift back."
Accomplishments of the 2007 legislative session Avakian noted include expanding the Bottle Bill; requiring recycling of consumer electronics; and the Oregon Renewable Energy Act, which mandates that 25 percent of Oregon's energy will be renewable by 2025.
The level of thought toward climate change in the Pacific Northwest is unique, and so are the Northwest's challenges for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Northwest does not have the number of methane-producing cattle that the agricultural Midwest does, and it also benefits from hydroelectric power. Therefore, the Northwest has a greater share of its emissions coming from transportation than the U.S. does as a whole, said Spencer Reeder of the Washington State Department of Ecology, and transportation emissions are harder to reduce than other types of emissions."
Read full article in the [Eugene Weekly]