As climate change becomes a significant subject in the Oregon governor’s campaign, we’re getting a front-row seat to each candidate’s program. The Oregon League of Conservation Voters just endorsed Tina Kotek. In addition to endorsements, OLCV hosted an interview with Nick Kristof, Tobias Read and Kotek.
On the other hand, Patrick Starnes was not endorsed or interviewed. What exactly has me stumped in the first place? Patrick has accomplished significantly more in terms of climate change than these candidates. Starnes’ lack of wealth is most likely to blame. In the 1980s, Starnes assisted in the formation of a tri-county recycling nonprofit, which helped keep raw materials out of landfills, which generate massive amounts of greenhouse gases. In the 1990s, he fought in the timber wars to save millions of acres of old-growth forests, which store the most carbon.
He is the only candidate for governor of Oregon who has advocated for a constitutional amendment allowing gas taxes to be used to fund alternatives to fossil fuels; he has opposed the Jordan Cove LNG project from the start, and he has opposed the sale of the Elliott State Forest to big timber donors. He is also the only candidate for governor of Oregon who has signed a pledge committing not to accept funds from oil, gas or coal industry executives, lobbyists or political action organizations. This raises a significant issue. Will the other so-called “climate change candidates” actually walk their green talk?