It was an amazing full day of events for the Oregon Stewardship Tour in La Grande, Oregon, on Wednesday, October 25th.
First, we met Kent Osterberg, Vice President Engineering for Blue Mountain Solar, Inc. Kent gave us good insights on how La Grande-area residents feel about climate change. Then, we had a meeting with Andrew Cutler, Publishing Editor of the La Grande Observer. This was an editorial board meeting to inform Andrew about Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) and our carbon fee and dividend solution. Andrew was very friendly and curious to learn about CCL and efforts to engage Congress.
After these meetings, it was around lunchtime. The high noon sun and blue skies really brought out the peak autumn colors on the La Grande trees.
At 2 pm, we met with 6 students and 3 faculty members at Eastern Oregon University to share with them information about CCL and our solution. The professors had great questions for us. One of the students shared how he was born and raised in Micronesia. He shared a touching story how climate change impacted his family. We were all moved nearly to tears when he recounted how sea level rise has a good chance of forcing his parents inland.
Our big event was our talk at the Cook Memorial Library. This evening, we had 25 people in attendance. The audience asked detailed questions on the border adjustment and how the carbon fee and dividend could impact businesses. Barry Daigle, Jason Lewis, and Brian Ettling took turns answering the questions.
Afterwards, 11 people signed our sheet requesting for more information about CCL, including 3 people expressing an interest to possibly start a CCL chapter in La Grande. Six people signed constituent comment forms and postcards requesting Rep. Greg Walden act on climate change.
The big surprise came at the end of the event. Charles LeBold of Union, Oregon, came up to us with a letter he created with 70 signatures of residents from Union and the surrounding area asking Rep. Greg Walden to join the bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus. We were delighted to see this unexpected letter with all of the signatures. Charles made us promise that we will present it to the staff of Rep. Greg Walden.
After the event, Brian said goodbye to Jason and Barry, who both head back to Portland tomorrow. They were extremely helpful during the first two days of the tour to make the events successful. They did everything possible to make sure the tour got off on a good note. The three of them were a great team for these presentations.
Thursday, Brian heads to John Day, where he will meet up with another CCL volunteer from Portland, Eric Means. Eric is a registered Republican in Oregon and a member of CCL’s Conservative Caucus. He grew up in small towns throughout Montana, Idaho, and eastern Washington, and understands the challenges of frank communication with conservatives on climate change.
It should be another wonderful day!