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Supporters of Clean Energy Bill Pass Preliminary Hurdle

Krystal Abrams
Beyond Toxics

As the 2020 election nears, supporters are rallying to pass the Clean Energy Jobs Bill, which aims to make Oregon 100% carbon-free by 2050. Today, Eugene supporters celebrated the next phase to put the measure on the ballot.

Created by Oregonians for Clean Air, the Clean Energy Jobs Bill received more than 6,000 signatures for the initiative petition—twice the amount required to qualify for a ballot title.

Eric Richardson is Executive Director of the Eugene-Springfield NAACP. He says African Americans were regulated to live near the timber industry in the 1940s and 50s. This put them near toxic industries. Richardson says this measure will help people of color and low income individuals who are still disproportionately affected by air pollution and climate change.

“Beyond Toxics—our community partner here—has been doing some research in west Eugene and has found, statistically, to be [at a] higher risk for cancers, asthma, and other issues due to industries out [in] west Eugene,” said Richardson.

The Oregon Attorney General is expected to finish writing the ballot title by February. Once completed, campaigners have until July to gather 112,000 signatures to get on the 2020 ballot.

Elizabeth Gabriel is a former KLCC Public Radio Foundation Journalism Fellow. She is an education reporter at WFYI in Indianapolis.
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