Climate Emergency 
6/16/2021
By Claudia Keith Climate Emergency Coordinator and Climate Emergency portfolio team members: Julie Chapman, Shirley Weathers, Cathy Frischmann, Josie Koehne, Kathy Moyd, Robin Tokmakian and Greg Martin
 
 
 
 

Climate Emergency Highlights & Priority Legislation (Claudia Keith)

 

ALERT:

Just a few days left for policy bills to move. Please contact your Representative and Senator and ask them to support these four Climate Emergency Priorities and the OCAP Budget. (Find Your Legislators) Oregonian Editorial; Readers respond: Join climate justice campaign.

1) HB 2021 B 100% Clean Energy, in Joint W&M as of 5/28, with a $50M fiscal. Recent League Testimony (more details in CLEAN Energy CE LR)

2) HB 2842 A Healthy Homes passed out of the House policy committee to Joint W&M since 4/7; Fiscal $20M League Testimony

Shared Priorities with NR Team

3) HB 2488 A addressing climate justice through land use planning; In Joint W&Ms. Fiscal $.8M

4) SB 286 A Climate and Environmental Justice. In Joint W&Ms. Fiscal $3.6M

CE Budget Priorities: Most of the OCAP Coalition budget items, which cover 10+ state agencies are HERE. Note, it’s unclear at this time if the Oregon Global Warming Commission will be funded. ($1.5-2.0M)

Thank your Legislators who voted in the affirmative:

HB 2475 Enrolled ‘The Oregon Energy Affordability Act’. On 5/24 Governor signed. LWVOR Testimony.

Coalition Work and OCAP Progress Report:

A formal OCAP (Oregon Climate Action Plan) Coalition Progress report was released March 29. This coalition was formed after Gov Brown‘s March 2020 Carbon Policy Executive Orders, more information at Renew Oregon and OCAP NPR update interview.

Mark your calendars:

Attend or view recorded Agency and Commission meetings including new reports and studies.

Global/National/Federal Updates (Claudia Keith)

G7 leaders face biggest climate change decisions in history - David Attenborough BBC|. Food systems offer huge opportunities to cut emissions, study finds. Physics Org |  New standards needed for the clean energy technology supply chain: G7 leaders need to define rules that integrate our shared values and promote transparency. FT|. G7 backs making climate risk disclosure mandatory | Reuters. The White House: FACT SHEET: G7 to Announce Joint Actions on Forced Labor in Global Supply Chains, (including solar industry) Anti Corruption, and Ransomware.

 

Climate policy models need to get real about people — here’s how -To predict how society and political systems might actually respond to warming, upgrade integrated assessment models. Nature| China’s sea-level rise raises threat to economic hubs to extreme: Commercial hubs at risk from higher tides and flooding unless cuts are made to greenhouse gas emissions. Financial Times| Climate justice, for the first time ever, is on the G7 agenda: If rich countries want a livable planet for themselves, they'll have to pay what they promised….  Live Updates G-7 leaders wrap up summit; Biden says ‘America is back at the table’. The key to reaching Biden’s new climate goal: An enforceable clean electricity standard that slashes pollution. EDF|

 

Our Response to Climate Change Is Missing Something Big, Scientists Say: Yes, planting new trees can help. But intact wild areas are much better. The world needs to treat warming and biodiversity loss as two parts of the same problem, a new report warns. NYT| Where's the detail? G7 nations agree to boost climate finance: Climate groups unimpressed as spokesman for British PM says individual nations expected to set out size of increases 'in due course'.

 

Analysis: … NATO wages war on climate threat. Storms await companies that err on climate: Markets are increasingly willing to punish businesses that mismanage global warming risks. Economist: What is the EU Green Deal? Maine becomes the first state to pass a law to divest from fossil fuels : legislation directs $17 billion pension fund and state treasury to divest from coal, oil and gas companies by 2026. White House Cautiously Embraces Nuclear Power to Meet Green Goals.


Oregon and Colorado Environmental Justice bills pass or could pass. EENews: Environmental Justice: 'Momnibus': Climate bill seeks fix to birth inequity. Carbon Pulse Daily Newsletter: Friday June 11. 117th Congressional Legislation Climate bills HERE

Region and State:

Oregon 100% clean energy bill headed toward passage OPB| Oregon On Verge Of Requiring 100% Clean Electricity By 2040. CT| OSU chosen to lead NOAA institute for marine research.

Opinion Resolution Oregon's natural resource policy must consider environmental justice impacts. ERG| Kalama methanol plant on lower Columbia River called off by developers. OPB| Supercharging Cascadian Decarbonization - Sightline Institute. This Desert Life-Drought  Poverty and Homelessness, Oregon Economic Analysis. Oregon House Approves $9.7 Million For Emergency Shelter Units. JPR| Trailer Park Destroyed By Wildfire Is Reborn As Housing For Fire Victims JPR|  Oregon Is Properly Identifying Hazard Trees For Removal In Burn Areas: Independent Review. The West Can End the Water Wars Now The Atlantic| After our investigation, Oregon House moves to curb forest institute’s power and budget. 4 seaweed startups combating food insecurity and climate change. OSU to build $20M dairy processing facility on Corvallis campus.  Will Oregon divest from fossil fuels? OPB

 

Agency and Commissions


Find updates across many agencies on the State of Oregon ‘Action on Climate Change’ topics HERE. Find weekly 2021 updates at Oregon Greenhouse Emissions Program web page HERE. DOE weekly blog updates HERE. New Oregon Dept of Energy (ODOE) Report HERE.

 

Agency and Commissions:

Find updates across many agencies on the State of Oregon ‘Action on Climate Change’ topics HERE. Find weekly 2021 updates at Oregon Greenhouse Emissions Program web page HERE. DOE weekly blog updates HERE. New Oregon Dept of Energy (ODOE) Report HERE.

Jordan Cove Energy Project (JCEP) (Shirley Weathers)

On June 7, the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit denied Pembina and FERC’s requests to pause the case before it regarding federal approval for the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline part of the Jordan Cove LNG project! (See Legislative Report, April 26, 2021.) Recall that the case, Deborah Evans, et al. v Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, was brought by the State of Oregon, landowners, non-governmental organizations, and Tribal groups, challenging FERC’s issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to Pembina’s proposed project. Among other central issues is the question of whether the Certificate lawfully conveys to the private developer the power of eminent domain when 100% of the LNG to be transported in the pipeline is for export to Asian countries, i.e., there is no “public use” as required by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Attorneys for affected landowners see the Court’s decision to deny the pause (or dismissal of the case, as FERC requested as an alternative to abeyance) as recognition that, even if Jordan Cove is never built and their eminent domain authority is never exercised, project owners would still hold the Certificate, placing landowners in jeopardy indefinitely in the future, therefore calling for consideration of the legality of FERC’s approval.

SB 392A, Relating to fugitive emissions study (Shirley Weathers)

 

SB 392A remains in the Joint Committee on Ways and Means due to its $300,000 fiscal impact statement. The LWVOR supports.

SCR 17, Establishing an environmental justice framework of principles for the State of Oregon (Shirley Weathers)

The bill, as amended in the House Energy and Environment Committee, passed the House 46-11 on June 7; the Senate concurred with the House amendment and adopted it on June 9, 17-13. It now awaits signature by the Senate President. LWVOR supports.

Clean Energy and Other Topics (Kathy Moyd and Greg Martin)

Legislation (Kathy Moyd)

 

ALERT: Once HB 2021 A, 100% Clean Energy, a priority bill for LWVOR, is referred to a W&Ms  subcommittee, we expect it to move quickly to the House and Senate for a final vote, so now is a good time to notify your State Senators and Representatives of your support; talking points can be deduced from our previous testimony. The bill requires retail electricity providers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with electricity sold to Oregon consumers to 80 percent below baseline emissions levels by 2030, to 90 percent by 2035, and to 100 percent by 2040. It permits an electric company, in coordination with a local government, to provide a program of rates or charges to serve retail electricity consumers that covers costs of electricity generated from renewable or nonemitting energy resources. It establishes contractor labor standards for construction of large-scale projects. It prohibits the issuing of a site certificate for a new or expanded facility that produces energy from fossil fuels unless it generates only nonemitting electricity. It creates a program to provide grants to public entities, consumer-owned utilities, and Indian tribes to plan or build community renewable energy projects, with special emphasis on resilience and environmental justice, and appropriates $50 million to a Community Renewables Investment Fund for purposes of a grant program for those projects.

 

HB 3375 A, relating to floating offshore wind energy, passed the Senate with a 22-8 bipartisan vote. This bill, which LWVOR supported in written testimony, would establish a goal of planning for development of up to 3 gigawatts of floating offshore wind energy projects within federal waters off the Oregon coast by 2030 and report to the appropriate interim committees by September 15, 2022.

 

SJM 5, support of the federal Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (EICDA), is still in the House Rules Committee with no public hearing scheduled. The EICDA has been reintroduced into this session of Congress as H.R. 2307. LWVOR has notified the Committee that we are interested in having a public hearing scheduled. Our previous testimony is still applicable.

All other bills still being followed have been referred to Joint W&Ms but have not been referred to a subcommittee. All except one passed out of its policy committee with bipartisan support, so are expected to pass easily when reaching the floors of the House and Senate. We provided verbal and written testimony in support of HB 2479, which modifies the definition of "global warming" to include certain aerosol air contaminants, including black carbon (soot).

(Greg Martin)

 

The Public Utility Commission (PUC) has launched two series of public workshops on transportation electrification (TE) and the impact of natural gas utilities’ strategies to reduce GHG emissions. Both are part of the PUC’s work plans to implement EO 20-04 directives and each will gather stakeholder communities’ feedback. The TE workshops (Docket UM 2165) are aimed at developing a holistic state TE Investment Framework.


The first workshop on May 26 examined current TE investment tools established in statutes, rules, and commission decisions; additional workshops are planned for June 18, June 30, and beyond. The Natural Gas Fact Finding workshops will analyze the potential utility bill impacts from limiting GHG emissions of regulated natural gas utilities under the DEQ’s Climate Protection Program, and appropriate regulatory tools to mitigate those impacts. The first workshop on May 27 presented an overview of the fact finding program. Four more workshops are scheduled from June through November, leading to PUC staff’s recommendations for 2022 activities in mid-December.

Transportation (Julie Chapman)

LWVOR Letter 6/12/21; HB 3055 -18 Amendment - clarifies purpose of natural gas infrastructure investments–-Support. It’s unclear if the JWM subcommittee will consider this important amendment.

Our Children’s Trust (Claudia Keith)

Attorney General Taylor Joins 17-State Coalition To Ensure Separation of Powers in Juliana v. United States: Alaska Department of Law. Attorneys General in 17 ‘Red’ States Seek to Insert Themselves as Adversaries to Juliana v. United States Plaintiffs. Our Children’s Trust|

Red States Warn of ‘Collusive’ Tactics by Biden in Climate Case. Bloomberg Law|

Forestry (Josie Koehne)

See the comprehensive Natural Resources Forestry and Wildfire Leg Report.