Oregon businesses flexing their muscles on climate change
By Ashley Henry and Jana Gastellum
Ashley Henry (left) is the Oregon business partnerships manager at Climate Solutions. Jana Gastellum is the program director of climate protection at the Oregon Environmental Council.
Chin up, Rip City, we’ve got some good news for you.
Though the Portland Trail Blazers missed the playoffs this year, they’ve given us something to cheer about by providing leadership off the court on an issue that affects us all: global warming.
The Blazers, along with fellow home-state heavy-hitters Nike Inc. and Intel Corp., are members of BICEP. The acronym stands for Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy, and it represents a national coalition of businesses committed to working with policy makers to pass meaningful energy and climate legislation.
Recently, the Blazers, Nike, Intel and 30 other national companies such as Starbucks, eBay, General Motors and Levi Strauss, signed and released a declaration urging a substantive, coordinated effort from Congress and the Obama administration to combat climate change.
“We cannot risk our kids’ futures on the false hope that the vast majority of scientists are wrong,” the businesses wrote.
Efforts like these are increasingly becoming the rule, not the exception in the business community. As the BICEP signers note, “tackling climate change is one of America’s greatest economic opportunities of the 21st century.”
Many in Oregon are realizing the short and long-tern economic benefits of policies that promote limiting carbon in our atmosphere and incentives for clean energy investment.
In eastern Oregon, farmers and landowners are turning to wind to diversify income and energy sources. In Lane County, Lochmead Farms is finding new ways to rethink waste and recycle it to save money, cut greenhouse gases and power their business. And Portland-based Lucid Energy is developing in-pipe hydro projects that will generate renewable energy in both city and rural irrigation systems.
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