The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Oregon

Download the PDF here.

Just in the past three years, the Trump administration has attempted to roll back at least 95 environmental rules and regulations to the detriment of the environment and Americans’ public health. Moreover, the administration refuses to act to mitigate the effects of climate change—instead loosening requirements for polluters emitting the greenhouse gases that fuel the climate crisis. This dangerous agenda is affecting the lives of Americans across all 50 states.

Between 2017 and 2019, Oregon experienced two wildfires and one drought. The damages of each event led to losses of at least $1 billion.

Impacts of climate change

Extreme weather

  • By 2050, Oregon is projected to see a 50 percent increase in the severity of widespread summer droughts.
  • Wildfires in Oregon are increasing in severity and frequency due to climate change. Currently, more than 2 million people living in Oregon, or 33 percent of the state’s population, live in areas with an elevated risk of wildfire.
  • While Oregon’s sea level has not risen significantly in recent history, forecasts project that by 2033, the sea level will have risen 6 inches.

Temperature

  • Oregon rarely experiences days of dangerous heat per year, but by 2050, the state is expected to see nearly 10 such days per year. This endangers the lives of the nearly 100,000 people living in Oregon who are especially vulnerable to extreme heat.

Impacts of the Trump administration’s anti-environmental policies

Climate

  • In March 2020, the Trump administration announced its final rule to overturn Obama-era fuel efficiency standards for cars. These weakened fuel standards will lead to higher greenhouse gas and particulate matter emissions and will cost Oregon residents nearly $350 million
  • The Trump administration is attempting to gut climate considerations from major infrastructure projects by eliminating the “cumulative impact” requirement of the National Environmental Policy Act. This is concerning because Oregon’s economy relies heavily on its tourism, agriculture, and outdoor recreation industries—all of which are highly dependent on climate and weather conditions.
    • Tourism: In 2018, Oregon’s tourism sector directly employed more than 115,000 people and generated $12.3 billion in revenue.
    • Agriculture: In 2019, Oregon’s agricultural industry generated $50 billion in sales, and nearly 14 percent of Oregon jobs were related to the agricultural industry.
    • Outdoor recreation: The outdoor recreation industry in Oregon generates 172,000 direct jobs and more than $16 billion in consumer spending.

Air quality

  • Mercury emissions in Oregon decreased by more than 95 percent from 2011 to 2017, yet the Trump administration just undermined limits on the amount of mercury and other toxic emissions that are allowed from power plants.

To read the personal stories of Americans affected by climate change and the impacts of the Trump administration’s anti-environmental policies in your state, visit OurEnvironment.org.