When I graduated from college in the 1970’s, my parents didn’t quite understand why I wanted to move clear across the country to Oregon where it “rained all the time.” But I wanted to live where it wasn’t considered weird to care about the environment. I grew up in Cleveland when the Cuyahagua River burned and we almost killed Lake Erie. Back then, environmentalists were considered anti-business, unclean, off-base. I didn’t share those values.
Since then, the West Coast has shown the rest of the country that taking care of the environment doesn’t have to be anti-business, that clean air is a good thing, that forests matter.
And recently Oregon showed the rest of the world that communities can fight back against the expansion of fossil fuels, to protect themselves. And the courts will affirm them. Other states are watching.