Portland voters, by a considerable margin, voted to pass the Portland Clean Energy Initiative in the November 2018 mid-term election. This measure will raise $30 million per year to invest in renewable energy, energy efficiency, home weatherization, living-wage job training, local sustainable food production, and more. Low-income residents and communities of color will be the first to receive projects funded by the Portland Clean Energy Initiative. Oregon PSR sits on the steering committee of this community-led vision that builds resilience and wealth in the face of climate change and federal inaction.
The Portland Clean Energy Initiative (PCEI) will increase Portlanders’ resilience to climate change and counteract racial and economic injustice. PCEI would authorize a 1% supplemental business license fee on retail corporations that make over $1 billion in nationwide annual sales. The fee would generate over $30 million a year in revenue, which PCEI will mobilize to advance environmental justice and public health efforts in Portland.
Oregon PSR member Patricia Kullberg, MD, MPH wrote an extensive report detailing the health benefits that the Portland Clean Energy Initiative will have on low-income Portlanders and communities of color.
Approximately 85% of housing units in Portland need energy efficiency upgrades, and utility bills are the primary reason families resort to payday loans. PCEI funds will be used to weatherize and solarize Portland homes and businesses, provide job training, apprenticeships, and minority contractor support, provide energy efficiency upgrades for low income housing, and build green infrastructure.
Oregon PSR is excited to join APANO, Coalition of Communities of Color, Columbia Riverkeeper, NAACP Portland Branch 1120, NAYA, the Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club, 350PDX, Portland Audubon, OPAL, Verde, and over 200 community organizations, businesses, faith leaders, and elected officials in this groundbreaking effort to promote environmental justice and public health in Portland.