Portland council, Multnomah Co. vote on renewable energy resolution

KATU photo

President Donald Trump declared Thursday that he would have the United States withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord.

Meanwhile, Multnomah County officials and City of Portland commissioners affirmed that they are in favor of a renewable energy resolution in Northwest Oregon.

The resolution calls for 100 percent renewable electricity by the year 2025, and ensuring that all energy sources will be renewable by 2035.

The county voted unanimously for the resolution Thursday morning. City commissioners were still hearing public comments on the resolution that afternoon and have yet to vote.

County commissioners told KATU the resolution is in direct response to the President Trump's stand on environmental issues and his decision to back out of the Paris Climate Accord.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler proposed his own amendment that would have the city follow the lead of the Paris agreement.

At an afternoon rally outside City Hall, some hardcore clean energy supporters wanted their own amendments -- one that would take "bio-mass" off the list of clean energy alternatives, saying it can burn even dirtier than coal.

15-year-old Ella Shriner wants the commissioners to add a youth council to the resolution. She presented the idea during Thursday's public testimony.

"I thinks its important to have youth of all ages involved in speaking up and getting our voices heard, because our generations are affected by all the decisions that are made today," said Shriner.

The resolution is not a law, but supporters say in some ways it's even better, with practical ways to make the change from coal and oil to other energy options like wind, water, and sun.

"It includes things like community-based renewable energy. Looking at ownership, the community themselves can actually own the energy, and laying out pathways for utilities to be part of the solution, we really need them on board to help with the transition" said rally organizer Mia Reback.

President Trump, in his statement on backing out of the Paris Accord, said renewable energy can meet one to two percent of energy needs, but to keep up with 3 to 4 percent growth in energy needs we need all sources of energy.

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