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Wyden Firsts: Protecting Our Outdoor Treasures

Since Ron was a young Congressman, whose legislation stopped one of the biggest efforts in decades by polluters to roll back the Clean Air Act, he has made protecting our natural treasures a top priority. Because of the serious, urgent nature of the climate crisis, and because the tax code disproportionately helps fossil fuels, Ron was the first lawmaker to propose throwing all 44 energy tax breaks in the trash can to level the playing field for renewable energy. His alternative: providing three tax incentives for clean energy, clean transportation fuel and energy efficiency -- a proposal he discussed at the kickoff event for the introduction of the Green New Deal, of which he is a cosponsor.

The growing climate crisis brings with it more frequent and severe natural disasters, including wildfires that have brought devastation to Oregon and the West. Ron was the first to write and pass bipartisan legislation to end the practice of “fire borrowing.” This law ensures the federal government no longer raids fire prevention budgets to put the largest wildfires out. This practice simply made the next year’s fire threats worse. With Ron’s law, the Forest Service can again focus on desperately needed fire prevention and future budgeting to appropriately treat wildfires as the natural disasters they are.

Ron was the first to secure nearly 2,000 miles of Wild and Scenic rivers in the contiguous United States. On Ron’s watch, Oregon will have more miles of protected wild and scenic river than any other state, except Alaska. Ron was the first to get old growth protections written into law, and he was the first member of Congress to protect an entire watershed in the United States.

In 2022, Ron secured the passage of the most consequential climate legislation of our lifetime. His Clean Energy for America Act will lower carbon emissions an estimated 40 percent by 2030, lower energy costs for families, and create good-paying clean energy jobs on American soil.

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Meet Ron Wyden

Ron Wyden is a champion for our progressive values -- standing up for consumers and the middle class, fighting for digital privacy and an open internet, protecting our planet and Oregon's special places, and always insisting on human rights and equality for all.

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