LETTER: Senator, listen to constituents, not lobbyists, big business
Climate change is hitting home in East County. Less snowpack on Mount Hood, less rainfall for farmers, less water in the Sandy River, forcing salmon to struggle to their spawning grounds. Two years ago, there was the wildfire that roared right to our doorsteps. I live in Fairview with my daughter, and the smoke from the Eagle Creek fire was so thick we had to abandon our home for two days.
Yet our state senator, Democrat Laurie Monnes Anderson, in June refused to support House Bill 2020, landmark legislation that promised to cap carbon emissions in Oregon and tax corporate polluters who didn't meet the new standards. Her opposition played a major role in its demise.
Along with dozens of other constituents who lobbied her to support HB2020, Sen. Monnes Anderson told me for months that she supported it. But complaints by Boeing — which operates a 1,600-employee plant in Gresham — swayed her.
With $101 billion in annual revenue, Boeing was concerned HB2020 would increase their Gresham electric bill. A business lobbyist helped write the email that I, and all constituents, got from Monnes Anderson to explain her position.
Our state senator's decision spawned Gresham City Hall protests and threaten her legislative legacy. But we cannot vote her out. She does not plan to run again.
The best we can do is pressure her until she steps down in 2021 to urgently pass legislation that protects our economy, health, safety and environment against the catastrophic consequences of climate change. And we can pressure Boeing to be a good neighbor and think past their own profits. Protests against both her and Boeing are planned in Gresham for later this month.
We must speak up and demand climate action. Our future here in East County, and around the world, depends on it.
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