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For Immediate Release, July 11, 2012

Contact:  Rose Braz, (415) 632-5319,

Eugene Joins Urgent Call for Climate Change Action 

State Faces Increased Risk of Wildfires, Coastal Flooding

EUGENE, Ore.— As evidence grows that Oregon faces increased risk of wildfires and summer water shortages caused by climate change, the Eugene City Council has voted to join Los Angeles, Seattle and more than 25 other U.S. cities in supporting the use of the Clean Air Act to cut greenhouse gas pollution to reduce the risk of runaway climate change.

Through a resolution approved by the city council, Eugene has signed onto the Center for Biological Diversity’s national Clean Air Cities campaign, which urges the Environmental Protection Agency and President Barack Obama to take action on global warming through the Clean Air Act.

“Eugene is proud to be the 30th city to pass a measure urging the Environmental Protection Agency to move swiftly to reduce greenhouse gas pollution,” said Alan Zelenka, the Eugene city councilmember who introduced the resolution. “Support for taking action at the federal level from cities across the country is essential to get the EPA to take bold action.”   

“Eugene’s leaders recognize that climate change poses profound risks to Oregon and the entire world, and they support one key solution: the Clean Air Act,” said Rose Braz, the Center’s climate campaign director. “Cities around the country, from Seattle to Tampa — and now Eugene — are sending an urgent message to our president and other national leaders: To avert a climate catastrophe, we need to act now.”

Climate change could cause considerable harm to Oregon, according to scientists with the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute. Rising sea levels and more intense storms are likely to threaten coastal towns and cities, as well as beaches and wetlands. Oregon’s agricultural industry could be affected by drier soils, warmer temperatures and summer water shortages. Climate change will also raise the state’s wildfire risk because of warmer, drier summers and an increase in fuel.

A new study from Oregon State University researchers also found that climate change is increasing the risk of heat waves. The severe heat wave in Texas last year, for example, was 20 times as likely as it would have been five decades ago, according to the study.

The Center’s Clean Air Cities campaign is working with volunteers around the country to encourage cities to pass resolutions supporting the Clean Air Act and using the Act to reduce carbon in our atmosphere to no more than 350 parts per million. The resolutions call on President Obama and the EPA to take action under the Clean Air Act to address climate change.

“I’m proud to be a resident of Eugene, the 30th city to join this urgent effort to support the Clean Air Act and action on climate change now,” said Marcus Lanskey, one of the Center’s volunteer Clean Air Advocates who spearheaded passage of the Eugene resolution.

Similar resolutions have been approved in Tampa and Pinecrest, Fla.; Cincinnati and Oberlin, Ohio; Chicago, Seattle, Wash.; Kansas City, Mo.; Albany, N.Y.; Tucson, Ariz.; Boone, N.C.; Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Penn.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Santa Fe, N.M.; Cambridge, Mass.; Madison and Milwaukee, Wis., and Arcata, Richmond, Berkeley, Oxnard, Santa Cruz and Santa Monica, Calif. Several other cities around the country will be considering resolutions over the next few months.

Learn more about the Center’s Clean Air Cities campaign and get the facts about the Clean Air Act.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 375,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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