Go Solar, Oregon

It’s time to repower Oregon with clean, renewable solar energy.

Winter 2016

This term for our lead campaign we are working to fight global warming by passing renewable energy legislation. Climate change is a huge threat- globally we’re already experiencing more severe storms, ocean acidification and drought. Here in Oregon last summer we had giant wild fires. We know that the burning of fossil fuels is responsible for our warming planet and we need to transition to renewable energy. Last year we worked to get the Governor to commit to getting 10% solar in Oregon by 2025. We ran a big vote on campus during student elections to sign on the student body and won by 89%! With that support we then met with Governor Brown and lobbied her directly. 

Now this term we’re working this term to convince our state lawmakers to pass legislation that would be the BIGGEST renewable energy bill EVER in Oregon. It would commit our state to 50 percent renewable energy by 2040 doubling our renewable energy, increase solar, and remove 100(!) percent of coal from our energy mix. This is landmark legislation that would make Oregon a leader in the country on renewable energy. This bill has to get passed by the end of February, and students will play a huge role in the advocacy effort. To get our voices heard we’re going to be collecting public comments, making activist calls, getting in the news and finally we’re going to head up to Salem to for a giant lobby day to lobby our elected officials and make sure they vote the right way. 

Register for our Clean Energy Lobby Day here: https://actionnetwork.org/forms/clean-energy-student-lobby-day

 

FALL

From the summit of Mt. Hood to the banks of the Rogue, Oregon is spectacular, and we should be doing everything we can to protect it. One way to do that is to repower our lives with clean energy that doesn’t harm our environment.

500 times more solar
We have the technology to get all of our energy from renewable sources in the near future. We should be taking advantage of these realities, but right now, we still get nearly half our energy from dirty sources like coal and gas, which contribute to global warming. Oregon has the potential to generate 68 million megawatt-hours of solar energy—140 percent more than our current annual energy use. We need to bring 500 times more solar power to Oregon in the next 10 years—the equivalent of putting solar panels on 250,000 roofs. 

Clouds won’t stop us
If there’s one thing Oregonians love, it’s a sunny day. Cloudy days aside, we have the technology to tap into the sun and repower our state with its energy, but we’ve barely scratched the surface. Places like Massachusetts and Germany already get up to 480 times more power from solar installations than we do—and it’s because they have strong policies to support it.

We’re up against powerful interests

Solar policies, such as allowing community solar arrays and paying businesses and residents when they generate surplus electricity, would bring big benefits to Oregon’s environment. But powerful interests from the coal and gas industries are pushing to keep solar power out of Oregon. In fact, the fossil fuel industry was the top spending interest group in Oregon in 2013. Our state is too special to kick the can down the road any longer.

Together we can win
We can overcome special interests and tap into the power of the sun if you join us. Students are working across Oregon to educate people about what’s at stake. We’re also building coalitions, educating policymakers, and shining a spotlight in the media on the need to repower Oregon with clean energy. 

We had a lot of success last year when we won ballot measures on our campuses to sign on the student body to asking Governor Brown to commit Oregon to 10% solar energy by 2025, and then brought that support to Salem to lobby her directly. Now we are working to get the cities of Eugene and Ashland to start leading the way and make an immediate impact with solar policies of their own. 

Campaign Updates

Report | Environment America Research & Policy Center | Energy

Renewable Energy 100

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News Release | Energy

Campaign launched to repower colleges and universities with 100 percent renewable energy

Washington, D.C. - Today, Environment America and the Student Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs) launched a campaign to secure commitments from American colleges and universities to shift to 100 percent renewable energy.

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Resource | Energy

100% Renewable Energy - Organizing a Campus Campaign

Summary

Galvanize your college or university to become a leader in clean energy by organizing, participating in, or supporting a campaign to power your campus with 100% renewable energy.

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Media Hit | Energy, Sustainability

EPA now accepting public comments about proposed coal regulations

The Environmental Protection Agency is now accepting written comments concerning their proposed carbon pollution standards for new power plants until March 10. The new standards would end construction of any new coal-fired power plants in the U.S.

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Blog Post | Energy

OSPIRG Educates 675 K-2 Kids about Energy Conservation | Jenn Engstrom

While most college students spend this week cramming for finals at home, 15 students from OSPIRG’s Energy Service Corps spent the week educating 675 K-12 students in classrooms across Eugene about energy conservation.

This week was OSPIRG’s first annual Energy Education Week.

 “We wanted to organize a week to educate our community about energy conservation” said Helena Schlegel Education Week Coordinator.  “With more cold winter months and high electricity bills ahead of us, teaching our youth about how to save energy at home is a great way to give back.”

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