Clean Air & Clean Energy


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Climate Change Affects the Health of Oregonians

I am a lung and critical care doctor who sees the impact of climate change and poor air quality on peoples’ health every day. There is a clear connection between the level of air pollution people are exposed to and their risk of developing four of the top five causes of death in Oregon: heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease and cancer. We must rapidly reduce our dependence on fossil fuels by shifting to 100% renewable energy as quickly as possible.

To do so, we must prioritize our socially and economically marginalized communities; climate change negatively affects these communities’ health outcomes the most. The ways we reduce climate pollution tend to be the same ways we can reduce health inequities. For example, green transportation and innovative land use with affordable housing development along transit corridors can dramatically improve a community’s quality of life, health, economic prosperity and safety by improving air quality, access to healthy food, active transportation options, and more.

My plan for a smooth transition to 100% renewable energy includes:

  • Protections for our marginalized communities

  • Regional and local autonomy to set stricter regulations

  • Streamlined state financing for green energy, green transportation, and green agriculture

  • Stricter regulations for oil, gas, and coal companies operating in, or through Oregon

  • Measures to prevent extensive carbon banking (if we were to go with a cap-and-trade proposal)

With this transition, we need to collaborate intentionally with workers and fossil-fuel industries to ensure Oregon leads the clean energy transition – working with unions and utilizing Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) in all green energy and infrastructure projects. See more details on climate change’s impact on the health of Oregonians here.


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 Maxine’s medical knowledge is vital to moving Oregon forward. She is smart, principled, and ready to go.

-Representative Jeff Barker, Oregon House District 28

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