May 18, 2007 Volume 108 Number 10

Oregon unions join in push for energy independence

Representatives of union, environmental, business and community groups launched a new coalition May 15, known as the Oregon Apollo Alliance for Good Jobs and Energy Independence.

The group is one of 10 state chapters of a national coalition spearheaded by the Campaign for America’s Future. The Oregon branch is the product of several years of local relationship-building. The group will promote energy efficiency, biofuels, solar energy, green building and consumer and business incentives to develop Oregon’s clean energy economy.

The group is called the “Apollo” Alliance to invoke America’s effort to put a man on the moon; a similar national commitment today, the group says, could create more than 3 million new jobs developing and building new energy technologies, and free America from dependence from foreign oil.

As its first act, the Oregon Apollo Alliance urged members of the Oregon House of Representatives to pass a bill, SB 838, which would require that 25 percent of the state’s electricity come from new renewable sources by 2025. The bill, introduced at the request of Gov. Ted Kulongoski, passed the Oregon Senate April 10, and is considered likely to pass the Oregon House.

“This bill is a huge opportunity for Oregon economic development,” said Oregon AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Barbara Byrd. “It could really re-energize our manufacturing sector.”

Oregon Apollo also pushed for passage of HB 2876, which would require energy efficiency retrofits for state buildings.

More information about the Apollo Alliance is available on the group’s Web site,

Thus far, 17 organizations have joined the Oregon Apollo Alliance: Oregon AFL-CIO; Oregon State Building and Construction Trades Council; AFSCME Local 3336 (representing employees of DEQ); International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 280; Lane County Central Labor Council; American Federation of Teachers–Oregon; the Oregon Solar Energy Industry Association; Pacific Ethanol; Horizon Wind Energy; McKinstry Company; EC Company; the Oregon Environmental Council; the Oregon State Public Interest Research Group; Portland Jobs with Justice; the Citizens Utility Board; Portland State University National Policy Consensus Center; and the Labor Education and Research Center of the University of Oregon.

Home | About

© Oregon Labor Press Publishing Co. Inc.