Climate Emergency

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February 14, 2022 - Week 2

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Climate Emergency Highlights

National, Regional and Oregon CE News Highlights

Calendar

Forestry

Clean Buildings

Transportation

Cap and Reduce

Our Children’s Trust


Climate Emergency Highlights (Claudia Keith)


Our six CE priority Bills are still alive and listed below; many have moved out of the first chamber policy committee or had committee work sessions scheduled for Monday Feb 14.



(Find additional information on these six bills below)


National, Regional and Oregon CE News Highlights


Oregon Legislature picks up carbon sequestration plan dropped by DEQ.


“A Deepwater Horizon disaster in minutes”. As a new report tallies billions in damages from fuel spilled in a Cascadia earthquake, legislators call for tank assessment and mitigation plan.| Multco Cty. Five states updated or adopted new clean energy standards in 2021.|EIA. Dept. of Energy awards $25 million for wave energy technology testing at Oregon State facility.| OSUToday. The Dirty Energy Preventing Oregon from Reaching Its Climate Goals. The biogas operation of Oregon’s largest mega dairy violated their air quality permit by spewing illegal amounts of dangerous pollution into the air we breathe.| Food&Watch. New York state pension fund to divest half its shale companies.| Reuters. NRDC Analysis: Oregon Econ Boost from Build Back Better Act. Oregon Department of Transportation Completes Portland LED Streetlight Project.


Mark Your Calendars


Attend as a League Observer, interested citizen, and/or view recorded agency and commission meetings, including new reports and studies.


Agency and Commissions


Find updates across many agencies on the State of Oregon “Action on Climate Change” web page. Find weekly 2022 updates at Oregon Greenhouse Emissions Program web page. DOE weekly blog updates HERE. New Oregon Dept of Energy (ODOE) Report HERE.


Forestry (Josie Koehne)


As a result of the Oregon Global Warming Commission’s (OGWC) 2021 Natural and Working Lands Proposal and its goals, the OGWC advanced SB 1534 for this short session in response to the governor’s 20-04 executive order. The OGWC was charged with producing a proposal for setting a carbon sequestration and storage goal for Oregon’s natural and working lands. The bill had a public hearing at 5:30 in Senate Natural Resources and Wildfire Recovery on Feb 8. The Chair of the Oregon Global Warming Commission, Catherine MacDonald testified in support, with several county commissioners from eastern and southern Oregon. Opposed were the American Farm Bureau and other commissioners who felt they had not been consulted in developing the bill, and that funding for incentives for sequestering carbon in working lands should have been included in the bill. Other farmers and ranchers already suffering from the climate impacts of drought and wildfires testified in favor.


SB 1534 states “it is the policy of the state to increase net carbon sequestration, including the storage in, and resilience of, the natural and working lands of the state.” The Institute for Natural Resources is directed to coordinate with the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) and the OGWC to develop a natural and working lands net carbon sequestration and storage inventory.


The Senate Natural Resources & Wildfire Recovery held a work session on SB 1534 on Feb 10 at 1 PM, included the -2 amendment that clarified several bill details. It passed 3 to 1, with 1 excused.


The -2 replaces the original measure, adding "net" before "climate" and "carbon" throughout the measure, a very important change. After sequestration, "and storage" was added, and the definition of "climate-smart agriculture, forestry and conservation practices" was refined. The Institute for Natural Resources at Oregon State is directed to develop recommendations for a net carbon sequestration and storage baseline for natural and working lands, for activity-based metrics to evaluate progress towards increasing net carbon sequestration and storage, and to coordinate with the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) and the Oregon Global Warming Commission to develop a natural and working lands net carbon sequestration and storage inventory.


The Legislative Fiscal Office addressed the costs of this measure: “There is a known budgetary impact from this measure of $853,280 General Fund in the 2021-23 biennium and $435,081 General Fund in the 2023-25 biennium. Additionally, because the Institute for Natural Resources has not yet fully developed plans for how they will develop the studies and recommendations that the Institute is asked to create under this measure, there is an additional indeterminate impact.”


A lot of effort and collaboration helped build support for this bill. We are very hopeful our LWVOR action alert contributed to its passage. SB 1534 has now been referred to Ways and Means with a “do pass” recommendation!


HCR 203 (Shirley Weathers)


HCR 203 (Rep. Alonso Leon) seeks to address and protect outdoor frontline workers from health and safety risks due to the hazardous impacts of climate change. LWVOR is studying and expects to support. The bill is in House Rules.


Clean Buildings (Julie Chapman)


The League submitted testimony in support of SB 1518, to adopt a construction Reach Code to reduce building emissions by at least 10% below the base code. The uniform Reach Code could be adopted in jurisdictions throughout the state wishing to meet their climate action goals.


Transportation (Julie Chapman)


On Feb 27, the Joint Committee on Transportation will hear HB 4139, requiring ODOT to establish a pilot program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by means of replacing or substituting certain materials used in constructing or maintaining the state transportation system.


ODOT published a study (1/5/22) examining the emissions reductions potential for using alternate materials and practices in ODOT projects. It looks at the “life cycle” emissions from manufacture of materials used for roads (asphalt, concrete, steel), from the transport of materials to the site, and from the construction procedures themselves. (This look at road building operational emissions is the flip side of “fuels” emissions from driving.)


At the Feb 3 meeting (5:21:18) of the Land Conservation and Development Commission, ODOT Director Strickler presented plans for allocating transportation funds. Guided by the Transportation Electrification Infrastructure Needs Analysis, $4 Million (over 5 years) of state funds and $52 Million of federal money will be invested in charging stations. In addition, Director Strickler fully supports the Climate Friendly and Equitable Communities (CFEC) goals, and will recommend to the Commission an allocation of $15 Million to assist in implementing rulemaking in the smaller metropolitan planning organizations. The money will come with some federal restrictions and will be available “this year.” ODOT continues to support the technical modeling for rulemaking in the CFEC.


Cap & Reduce and Clean Energy (Kathy Moyd, Greg Martin)


HB 4058, Emergency Heat Relief for Communities is a coalition priority bill: At the February 7work session it passed unanimously! It now goes to the W&Ms. League Testimony primarily concerned support of the Heat Pump Deployment Program, which will provide funding for installing heat pumps capable of heating and cooling, prioritizing members of environmental Justice communities and those relying on bulk fuels or not having any heating and cooling.


SB 1519, Property Tax Exemption for Community Solar Projects, public hearing February 2. League Testimony agreed that the proportion of a community solar project owned by residential customers or leased by residential subscribers should receive a property tax exemption just as certain alternative energy systems already receive one. No opposition was expressed at the public hearing, and a representative of the State Assessor’s office testified that the exemption was defined in a way that could be easily implemented. It passed unanimously at a work session on February 7,referred to Senate Finance and Revenue.


HB 4059 contains fixes for the large-project labor standards in HB 2021 (2021). The only substantive change is to require an apprenticeship program for lower energy projects (two or three megawatts depending on project type) than the 10 megawatts specified in HB 2021 for both apprentices and other workers. The League provided verbal and written testimony. It passed Wednesday to the House floor 7 - 3, but discussion indicated amendments are expected in the Senate.


SB 1567 requires an owner or operator of a bulk oil or liquid fuels terminal to conduct a seismic vulnerability assessment and implement a seismic risk mitigation implementation plan approved by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). In addition, the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) is required to develop an energy security plan evaluating the ability to recover from physical threats including a magnitude 9.0 Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake or cybersecurity threats. The critical energy infrastructure (CEI) hub in Portland handles about 90% of all fuels going through Oregon and is located on soil subject to liquefaction. Because of the threat it poses to the people of Portland, the League of Women Voters of Portland has been following the CEI Hub and its seismic risks for several years. The League provided both verbal and written testimony. The work session was postponed until February 14.


Our Children’s Trust (Claudia Keith)


Climate kids' lawsuits pursue new tack | Reuters. Montana kids' climate case may be first to go to trial - E&E News. Date set for first youth-led climate trial in U.S. history - In Held v. State of Montana, 16 youth plaintiffs have sued the state over its energy policy, alleging that fossil fuel development accelerates climate change. |NBCNEWS.


Our Children's Trust Recent Press Releases



Climate Emergency Team Volunteer Opportunities


Please consider joining the CE portfolio team. We lack volunteers in these critical policy areas:

1) Natural and Working lands, specifically Agriculture/ODA, 2) Clean Buildings, 3) Public Health Climate adaptation, 4) Regional Solutions Infrastructure, 5) State Procurement Practices (Dept. of Admin. Services), 6) CE Portfolio State Agency and Commission Budgets, 7) Oregon Treasury: ESG investing/Fossil Fuel divestment, 8) Join Julie, DOT/Transportation with a focus on DLCD/LCD Climate Friendly and Equitable Communities – a major program across multiple agencies. and 9) a priority focus on a just transition, Climate and Environmental Justice.


We all collaborate with Natural Resource and Social Policy Action members on many Climate Change mitigation and adaptation policy topics. Please write to lwvor@lwvor.org.