America’s wind power capacity has quadrupled in the last five years and wind energy now generates as much electricity as is used every year in Georgia. Thanks to wind energy, America uses less water for power plants and produces less climate-altering carbon pollution. In 2012, Oregon currently was 8th in the nation for wind energy production.
On the heels of Oregon’s largest and most devastating wildfires in over a decade a new report from Environment Oregon Research & Policy Center finds that even as Oregon works to cut carbon pollution and transition to clean energy, power plants remain the single largest source of carbon pollution in America. Scientists predict that extreme weather events will become more frequent and severe for future generations, unless we cut the dangerous carbon pollution fueling the problem. Environment Oregon was Angus Duncan, Chair of Oregon's Global Warming Commission; OSU Professor Andreas Schmittner; the Douglas County Global Warming Coalition; and Southern Oregon Climate Action Network for the release of the report.
After yet another year in which many parts of the country were hit by scorching heat, devastating wildfires, crippling drought, record floods and severe storms like Hurricane Sandy, a new Environment Oregon Research & Policy Center report finds that weather-related disasters are affecting hundreds of millions of Americans, and documents how global warming could lead to certain extreme weather events becoming even more common or more severe in the future.
America has more than doubled its use of wind power since the beginning of 2008 and we are starting to reap the environmental rewards. In Oregon, wind energy now displaces as much global warming pollution each year as much as is produced by 550,000 cars. To protect the environment, federal and state governments should continue and expand policies that support wind energy.
Oregon has vast untapped potential for solar energy. Taking advantage of the state's solar energy potential would reduce Oregon's contribution to global warming and protect its environment. More solar power would also create jobs and boost manufacturing in Oreogn. Putting policies in place to accelerate the growth of the solar energy market will allow Oregon to start reaping these benefits immediately.
Environment Oregon Research and Policy Center is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.