If you're an Oregonian who cares about fighting climate change, there's only one Governor candidate who deserves your vote: Tina Kotek, a Democrat.
The other candidates -- Republican Christine Drazan and unaffiliated Betsy Johnson -- oppose what Oregon is doing now to combat the global warming that's causing hotter weather, more intense wildfires, and other nasty effects in our state.
So says a well-researched OPB story, "Oregon governor's race will dictate the state's direction on battling climate change," that I learned about via Twitter.
Here's some excerpts from the story.
In the last decade, Oregon has sought to position itself as a bulwark against human-caused climate change. Alongside Washington and California, state leaders have passed laws that chart a path to carbon-free power, require cleaner-burning auto fuel and regulate emissions from major polluters.
In many ways, the outcome of the Nov. 8 gubernatorial election will dictate whether Oregon stays the course or pares back its climate efforts.
The three women leading the race for the state’s top elective office have been some of the fiercest warriors in bruising political fights over the issue, and bring very different viewpoints.
As House speaker for nearly a decade, Democrat Tina Kotek played a leading role in passing many of the state’s most notable climate policies.
...House Republican Leader Christine Drazan and unaffiliated candidate Betsy Johnson – a former longtime Senate Democrat – are promising to undo some of Oregon’s signature climate regulations the moment they take over.
...All three candidates bring a greater history on climate issues than the cap-and-trade fights of 2019 and 2020. During their time in the Legislature, each has built a record on policies aimed at stemming Oregon’s impact on global warming. (Johnson was first elected in 2000, Kotek in 2006 and Drazan in 2018.)
Though she was a Democrat during her 20 years in the Legislature, Johnson often worked against her party’s major climate proposals. That included a 2016 bill requiring power companies to generate more of their energy from renewable sources. The bill ensured that the state would wean itself off of coal-fired power by 2035. (Johnson did support a 2007 bill that sought to speed the transition to more renewable sources of power.)
Johnson also opposed the creation of a Clean Fuels Program that limits the carbon intensity of auto fuel. The program has prevented millions of tons of emissions since 2016, according to the DEQ. The state says the regulations hiked gas and diesel prices by about 5 cents a gallon in 2021.
And both Johnson and Drazan opposed a major 2021 piece of legislation that will require the state’s largest power companies to transition to 100% clean energy by 2040. That’s among the most ambitious such goals of any state – one many acknowledge might not be possible.
Kotek, meanwhile, supported all of those bills and helped usher them through the Legislature during an influential nine years as House speaker. She has been credited by environmental groups with saving policies like the Clean Fuels Program from attacks by industry groups and their allies.