Portland Will Continue as Sustainability Leader and Hub for the Electric Car Industry

Mayor Adams EV

“…few opportunities blend economy and sustainability like the electric vehicle does.” 

Editor’s Note: This is Portland Mayor Sam Adams’ first post for Gas 2.0. It’s a direct response to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who posted for us earlier today and said the race to electric vehicle infrastructure “symbolizes what is best about our region and our country.” Mayor Adams will be holding a press conference today at 1:30 PST about this issue. UPDATE: Added video of the event above.

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Portland is a great place to live, and it’s a great place to innovate. It could be Oregon’s natural beauty that inspired our long-established commitment to environmental stewardship and conservation, the Beta version of what we now call sustainability.

Couple that innate sense of stewardship with a culture of design, planning, discourse and collaboration and you get Portland — a City ranked by SustainLane (based in San Francisco, no less!) as America’s most sustainable city two years in a row!

Well, we know what this means—two things:

1) Other cities, including our big city neighbor to the north (rhymes with Shmeattle) and our big city neighbor to the South (home of Sustainlane) are gunning for that top honor, so Portland has to stay in the lead; and,

2) With the kudos come responsibilities, and opportunities to leverage status into real economic gain.

I firmly believe that sustainability is a key to economic prosperity. In fact, I’ve made sustainability the centerpiece of my city’s economic development strategy. And few opportunities blend economy and sustainability like the electric vehicle does.

Portland just launched our joint City/County Climate Action Plan which aims to reduce our emissions by 80% of 1990 levels by 2050. This will take bold steps, and one step is replacing our fossil-fueled vehicles with zero emission vehicles. Portland already boasts a number of EV startups, and we’re gunning for more. This industry will bring jobs, technology, innovation and recognition.

Which is why today, I am joining with colleagues from across the region and private industry in unveiling our newest charging station in downtown Portland. And, we’re unrolling an electric vehicle strategy to make sure that Portland is working side by side with our neighboring cities, counties and private partners to bring an integrated solution to EV developers, owners and enthusiasts. And my colleagues and I on City Council just passed a resolution this morning supporting all efforts to grow Portland’s EV industry and position our city, our region, as the nation’s hub for yet one more industry of sustainability.

I respect San Francisco’s commitment to being the EV leader. And I’m sure that EV’s make a lot of sense in the noise and congestion of bumper-to-bumper bay area traffic. But when you’re driving through the forests of Oregon on your way to a parking spot in downtown Portland, sometimes all you want to hear is the sound of silence.

Sincerely,

Sam Adams Mayor, City of Portland

Follow Mayor Adams on Twitter.

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Sam Adams

Sam Adams (born 1963) currently serves as the mayor of Portland, Oregon.