Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington are banding together in support of clean energy. They met Saturday in Seattle to discuss concerns over the Trump administration’s efforts to eliminate policies that combat climate change.
“It doesn’t make sense for Oregon to do it alone; it makes sense when we do it in a regional basis,” Brown said, emphasizing that West Coast states need to work together.
“We are only a small part of the global climate challenge, but we can be a large part of the solution,” she added. “Oregonians are committed to moving our state forward and, working with Washington and California, we can continue to move the entire country forward. Our citizens are demanding cleaner air and cleaner water — we are not willing to go backwards.”
The governors recently joined California Gov. Jerry Brown and five West Coast mayors in a letter reaffirming support for the Clean Power Plan.
“We speak as a region of over 50 million people with a combined GDP of $2.8 trillion. There is no question that to act on climate is to act in our best economic interests. Through expanded climate policies, we have grown jobs and expanded our economies while cleaning our air,” the letter said.
“We all have to pitch in here,” Inslee said. “There is no one country, there is no one governor, there is no one company that can defeat climate change alone. But when we act in concert, we can do great things. And we’re doing that on the west coast.”
In 2015, President Barack Obama laid out the Clean Power Plan, a set of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations that aim to cut down on carbon emissions from coal-burning power plants.
Inslee and Brown said they anticipate a directive to withdraw and rewrite the Clean Power Plan could come from the president as early as next week.
The White House has already proposed slashing the EPA’s budget by 31 percent.
Washington Gov. Inslee said those cuts could eliminate energy programs for low income residents and derail efforts to protect the Puget Sound, restore salmon runs, and protect species like orca whales.