Oregon business and state leaders joined congressman Earl Blumenauer in calling for federal environmental mandates at a conference on global warming held at PSU Wednesday.
Oregon business and state leaders joined congressman Earl Blumenauer in calling for federal environmental mandates at a conference on global warming held at PSU Wednesday. The forum showcased local and state steps being taken to pass environmental measures in the Oregon State Legislature.
State measures such as a cap on levels of carbon emissions must be enacted if environmental policy is to be taken seriously at a federal level, panelists said.
“States need to create their own standard, because the federal government hasn’t stepped up,” said Dennis Wilde, senior project manager of Gerding Edlen, a local real estate developer.
Wilde was one of 13 panelists representing local business, government and city interests rallying for state and national environmental legislation. Others present were Mark Dodson of NW Natural Gas, Sarah Severn, corporate responsibility director at Nike and Peggy Fowler, president and CEO of Portland General Electric.
In addition to voicing support on environmental legislation, panelists explained what their respective companies are doing to help affect policy change, including planning new research on sustainable technology and the reduction of natural gas and electricity consumption through alternative power methods, such as hydroelectricity and wind power.
David Erwin, a professor of environmental studies at Portland State and a panelist, said PSU is in full support of sustainable initiatives. PSU already has a host of faculty working on global warming research, and has plans to form a multi-discipline team to help inform climate change legislation, Erwin said.
Governor Ted Kulongoski’s deputy chief of staff, Allen Alley, also spoke at the event alongside Portland City Commisssioner Erik Sten. Congresswoman Hilda Solis, who represents nearly 640,000 citizens in Southern California, spoke with Blumenauer at the forum.
Courtney Morse, PSU student body president, introduced Blumenauer and gave the welcome for the event. Student government members worked with Blumenauer’s office to hold the event, which was in the ballroom of the Smith Memorial Student Union.
The Oregon State Legislature will meet next week in Salem to discuss climate change legislation.