2019 Environmental Scorecard for the Oregon Legislature


I HAD HOPED to open the 2019 OLCV Environmental Scorecard for the Oregon Legislature with words of excitement and celebration after the passage of Clean Energy Jobs, as well as praise for the strong leadership of Oregon’s elected leaders. It is instead with frustration and disappointment that we are here, once again, waiting for Oregon’s elected leaders to pass climate legislation after the adjournment of the state legislature.

To be fair, it took an unprecedented, anti-democratic walkout by 11 Senate Republicans to stop Clean Energy Jobs from passage. Despite the fact that addressing climate change is overwhelmingly supported by Oregonians and was a decisive factor in Governor Kate Brown’s re-election in 2018, when push came to shove, the political courage to fight for the environment — and taking on climate change in particular — was decidedly lacking. And that’s the story of the 2019 Oregon Legislative Session, as well as the focus of our scorecard.

While we may be frustrated with how the Legislative Session ended, there were some key wins and successes to celebrate — including the passage of long-sought legislation to reduce diesel pollution, protect against oil train derailments, ban offshore drilling, address the housing crisis, and ensure clean air and clean water standards don’t go backwards.

Alongside our wins, though, the story of the 2019 Oregon Legislative Session is also one of the outsize power of corporate polluters, fueled by the highest per capita corporate political contributions in the United States. Throughout the scorecard, we take a more in-depth look at how corporate donations contributed to weakening or stopping key bills, and how OLCV is working to strengthen our democracy by limiting campaign contributions to candidates.

Our scorecard this year is different. As our most critical priority, Clean Energy Jobs is given more weight than other bills and priorities. Furthermore, in the Senate where it died, only those who voted to support Clean Energy Jobs have earned their score. The rest receive incompletes since their work is not done. After the 2020 Legislative Session, Senators with incompletes will get the score they deserve — that they have earned — based on what happens with Clean Energy Jobs. They have the opportunity to be climate heroes for voting yes, or earn climate zeroes for opposition or inaction.

OLCV won’t ever give up on passing meaningful climate legislation. Our work — and the Legislature’s work — is not done. Clean Energy Jobs will be back in 2020. To succeed, we will need bold leadership and not more of the same.

I want to thank you for standing with OLCV. Overcoming adversity is never easy. But we will never give up.

Doug Moore
OLCV Executive Director


About OLCV

The Oregon League of Conservation Voters is a non-partisan organization with a simple mission: to pass laws that protect Oregon's environmental legacy, elect pro-environment candidates to office, and hold all of our elected officials accountable.

For more information about OLCV, visit our website at olcv.org.

About the Scorecard

For more than 40 years, OLCV has protected Oregon's natural legacy. An essential part of our work is holding our elected officials accountable. The OLCV Environmental Scorecard is not only one of our most important accountability tools, but also a tradition. The first scorecard was published in 1973.

By sharing how each member of the Legislature voted on the most critical conservation bills, we help Oregonians understand whether legislators listened to their constituents, or if they listened to special interest groups instead. It also serves as a summary of environmental bills and includes special recognition of the legislative champions.