Summer is for celebrating our wins and resting up for the actions coming this fall!
The scientists know that the clean energy revolution is possible. It’s already well underway. The only thing holding us back is the lack of political will. That’s where we come in. We continue to throw down with our allies to demand the transformative change we need. Simply put: no more business as usual!
The effects of climate breakdown are in the news everyday and it’s changing how Americans think about our personal and collective lives. As people recognize the gravity of our situation, efforts are coalescing to build the capacity for massive pressure on our decision-makers.
It’s time to jump in! You can challenge climate-harming timber sales by learning how to “double-check” (aka field-check) official plans, you can be part of the team that shows up at city council to demonstrate public support for strong climate policy, you can join in road trips to the capitol and local carbon-rich forests, and you can help get out the vote for climate champions and advocate for strong climate leadership. To name a few. Read on to find out more.
Electrify Eugene / Fossil Free Eugene
The City of Eugene is in a great position to make progress on climate. We have strong leadership in our mayor and a city council majority who are committed to do the hard work of decarbonizing (if we keep pushing them). We have excellent staff in the Sustainability Office who are free now to blaze ahead with well thought-out plans, which include tons of input from the community. Advocates are meeting with staff to get on the same page for bold fall climate action. Stay tuned.
From Mayor Vinis: “We need to do two things: reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of existing buildings in our community and stem the flow of new fossil fuel emissions in new construction. Addressing existing buildings is the biggest piece, and we will focus our attention on that work, while simultaneously pursuing the development of a policy to tackle new construction that complies with the Ninth Circuit ruling. We are committed to regulating the use of fossil fuels in new construction, as it is an essential step to meeting our climate action plan goals, and transitioning our community off of fossil fuels.” This is our local work in 2023-24.
Check out the City of Eugene’s new webpages helping residents access the myriad new subsidies, incentives and rebates to electrify homes and businesses and outlining the city’s decarbonization efforts.
Take Action: Gas Companies can diversify and become leaders in the clean energy revolution! Here’s what Sightline Institute has to say about it, and what Northwest Natural needs to understand and adopt. (Send the article link to the new NWN Community and Government Affairs Manager today!)
GTN XPress: A Victory... For Now!
Last week fossil fuel resistors across the region celebrated a great victory. Expecting an approval of the project by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) at its July meeting, at the last minute they removed GTN XPress from their agenda, pushing the decision back at least another two months. As we always say, “A Delay IS a Win!” (Maybe the TC Energy gas pipeline explosion in Virginia and Senators Merkley and Wyden re-issuing a joint statement calling on FERC to reject the application had something to do with it!)
Here’s the Corvallis Advocate’s (June 28) feature article: Vote to Expand Gas Pipeline Though Oregon Scuttled by Public Pressure, for Now. We are the Thin Green Line!
Federal Forest Protection - this is what kickass grassroots organizing looks like!
On July 20th, over half a million people called on the Forest Service to protect mature and old-growth trees and forests across the U.S. from logging & other threats. Activists delivered a symbolic box of comments to our federal delegation at the Wayne Morse Federal Courthouse with media and fans in attendance.
The final number of comments submitted was over 530,000! We thought a goal of half a million was pretty ambitious, but we did it, with a lot of hard work by organizers across the country, including our buddies at Oregon Wild, Victoria Wingell and at Cascadia Wildlands, Madeline Cowen. Thanks for lending your voice. As the world experiences record-shattering heat & widespread climate disasters, protecting these forests is critical. As long as there are public comment periods, let’s just plan to BLOW THEM AWAY with huge numbers!
Our movement to protect Pacific Northwest forests from climate-harming logging is exploding! And not a moment too soon…
Have you heard about this timber industry focused event called “Who will Own the Forest?” planned for Wall Street shareholders? It’s happening in Portland at the World Forestry Center September 26th-28th. Local forest & climate organizations are planning counter protests, including an alternative conference. SAVE THE DATE. 350 Eugene plans to bring a contingent.
Looking for a way to plug into Forest Climate defense? Consider joining Cascadia Wildlands WildCAT to learn how field-checking can prevent logging in old and mature forests. Field-checking is a method for double-checking federal land managers’ logging plans. Last month over 40 Basecamp volunteers examined stands proposed for logging in the large Calloway Project east of Eugene in the Willamette Forest. The result of this intensive field-checking found that while many proposed stands contain young, single-aged plantation-style stands of forests, suitable for logging, others are rich in diversity, complex with many old-growth and mature trees, and teeming with wildlife and should be dropped from the project. That’s what the amazing legal experts & our friends at Cascadia Wildlands do for our climate. They fight to keep mature & old trees in the ground! Contact Madeline for more information at email@example.com.
DIVEST OREGON, a coalition of individuals and organizations including 350Eugene, continues its work to divest the State of Oregon from its multibillion dollar fossil fuel investments (mainly in the PERS fund). Private equities are more opaque than traditional public investments (think “stock market”) and include a substantial portion in fossil fuels. Oregon has invested 27% of its PERS investments in private equities, far exceeding the level of investment by other state funds. These are risky. See the August 3, 2023 New York Times article, “The Risks Hidden in Public Pension Funds”, about how private equity investment understates its risk.
Interested in learning more about Oregon’s investments in fossil fuels and private equities? Go to the divestoregon.org and join the coalition.
September is Going to be Busy!
In the lead up to this year’s UN Conference of the Parties (COP28) in the UAE in November, the UN Secretary General has called a Climate Ambition Summit in NYC in September. As you have heard, a number of national organizations and / or coalitions are planning events around this time to draw attention to the inexcusable lack of progress on climate. Distributed events are being encouraged across the country.
There is talk among Oregon climate organizers of a potential event in Salem at the Capitol on Friday, September 15th, to demand Governor Kotek declare a climate emergency and halt any new fossil fuel projects. Road trip anyone? It’s been a while! But we’re excited to return! More to come.
Also, the organizing for a national march in NYC on September 17th is in full swing, and they’re encouraging people to come to NYC. We have decided to remain in Eugene and support a local event to End Fossil Fuels and attend the “Who Will Own the Forest?” actions later in Portland.
Stay tuned for details. You won’t want to miss.
Comings and Goings
We want to send Eloise Navarro, our intrepid Communications Coordinator since April 2022, off with our deepest thanks and fondest of farewells, and welcome her replacement Cecilia Luzi. Cece comes to us with fresh enthusiasm and energy for climate activism and they have extensive experience in detailed, administrative work. Welcome to the 350 Eugene team, Cece!
Zero Coalition is a new organization focusing on decarbonizing Oregon's buildings. This month 350 Eugene & Fossil Free Eugene are featured in their newsletter as new members and “Champions of Change."
From Rebecca Solnit: “Hope is not happiness or confidence or inner peace; it’s a commitment to search for possibilities.” Read her latest Guardian article titled “We Can’t Afford to Be Climate Doomers” here.