Climate Emergency

< Newer
Older >

February 7, 2022 - Week 1

Back to Full Legislative Report


Climate Emergency Highlights

National, Regional and Oregon CE News Highlights

Emergency Heat Relief for Renters

Forestry

Jordan Cove Energy Project

Our Children’s Trust



Climate Emergency Highlights (Claudia Keith)


Our 6 CE priority bills are:


(Find additional information on these six bills below)


National, Regional and Oregon CE News Highlights



Land Use Board of Appeals Says City Needs Stronger Argument to Deny Permit for Zenith Energy. “The Land Use Board of Appeals told the city of Portland on Thursday that it must make a stronger argument for denying a land use computability statement with Zenith Energy, creating yet another stalemate over whether the crude oil storage company will get the proper permissions to continue operating”.


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.


Cap & Reduce and Clean Energy (Kathy Moyd)


HB 4058, Emergency Heat Relief for Communities is a coalition priority bill, public hearing on February 2. Legislators expressed bipartisan support at the hearing.


The League was prepared to testify at the hearing but there was not enough time. 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 on February 2. League Testimony agreeing 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.


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.


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.


Emergency Heat Relief for Renters (Greg Martin)


SB 1536-1 On Feb. 2, the Senate Housing & Development Committee held a public hearing, to provide emergency cooling assistance for renters at risk of extreme heat events like the “heat dome” responsible for the deaths of nearly 100 Oregonians last year. LWVOR testimony supports this bill, which drew uniformly supportive written and oral testimony from several dozen other organizations. Key provisions include:


  • forbidding landlords to prohibit tenants from using and installing portable cooling devices such as window units, subject to certain exceptions

  • a $15 million program for ODOE to provide rebates for heat pump installation and grants for electrical and mechanical upgrades to facilitate heat pump installation for renters

  • reserving 25% of grant and rebate funds for affordable housing providers and 25% for owners of units occupied by lower-income households

  • a $500,000 grant program for ODOE to help landlords operate community cooling centers for tenants during an extreme heat event

  • requiring ODOE to study and report to the legislature on the cooling and electrical needs of publicly supported housing, manufactured dwelling parks, and recreational vehicle parks.


The -1 amendment resulted from extensive collaboration among environmental justice advocates, affordable housing providers, and Multifamily NW, representing residential property managers, owners, and vendors. An additional amendment is expected before the Feb. 9 work session to clarify a few noncontroversial provisions of the -1 amendment.


Forestry (Josie Koehne)


As a result of the OGWC’s 2021 Natural and Working Lands Proposal and its goals, the OGWC has 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.


LWVOR has been part of a coalition participating on the Natural and Working Lands (NWL subgroup or table of the Oregon Climate Action Plan (OCAP) group supporting this bill.


This 8 -page bill will implement practices that increase sequestration and storage on Oregon’s natural and working lands and through the products they produce provides significant co-benefits to Oregon’s communities and land managers:


  • Planting trees in urban areas reduces heat island effects and improves air quality.

  • Restoring coastal wetlands improves fish habitat and protects coastal communities from increasing impacts from storm surges.

  • Implementing regenerative farming practices increases soil productivity and moisture-holding capacity.

  • Advancing forest management practices that increase sequestration increase long-term fiber supplies.

  • Adding practices to improve the resilience of fire prone forests to uncharacteristically severe wildfire reduces emissions and air quality impacts from wildfire.


Investing across these practices creates jobs, generates increased revenue for private land managers, reduces energy and health care costs, and improves people’s quality of life. The state can play an important role in helping interested land managers voluntarily adopt such practices, including through the development of incentive programs to mitigate transition costs and by providing technical assistance.


Details of the bill, full text here:


  • Establishes state policy to increase carbon sequestration in natural and working lands and waters.

  • Requires certain agencies to monitor progress implementing state carbon. sequestration policy and report findings to the Oregon Global Warming Commission.

  • Directs the commission to appoint a natural and working lands and waters advisory committee.

  • Directs Institute for Natural Resources to develop net natural and working lands and waters carbon sequestration inventory.

  • Directs certain agencies to prepare 2010 to 2019 carbon sequestration baseline and activity-based metrics and community impact metrics for carbon sequestration in natural and working lands and waters.

  • Directs the commission to accept or modify metrics and submit a report, providing adopted metrics and recommendations for legislation to interim Legislative Assembly committees related to the environment no later than September 15, 2023.

  • Directs the OSU Institute for Natural Resources to study workforce and economic development potential of strategies to increase carbon sequestration in natural and working lands and waters and provide results to Legislative Assembly committees related to the environment no later than March 15, 2023.


LWVOR testimony was written by three League members. In addition, we signed in to a group sign-on letter and sent out an Action Alert on Feb 4. Please look for it in your inbox. The Public hearing was held in Senate Natural Resources and Wildfire Recovery on Feb 4th at 1 PM and the work session will be held on Feb 10.


HCR 203 (Shirley Weathers)


HCR 203 (Rep. Alonso Leon) seeks to address and protect outdoor frontline workers from health and safety risks due to hazardous climate change impacts. Deaths have occurred, but also health impacts and injuries. Many of these workers are farmworkers, but utility, construction, and other workers are included. Oregon Occupational Safety and Health (Oregon OSHA) has implemented temporary rules to protect these workers, but sponsors and advocates believe additional measures are needed. HCR 203 outlines the extreme conditions caused or exacerbated by climate change, such as wildfire smoke and excessively high temperatures. It declares the intent of the Legislature to work towards reducing the risks to worker health, safety, and well-being and outlines some measures to protect them. LWVOR expects to support. The bill has been referred to House Rules.


Jordan Cove Energy Project (Shirley Weathers)


Victory secured at last! After 15 years of tenacious opposition, the Jordan Cove LNG and Pacific Connector Pipeline Project is finally dead! On January 25, 2022, the last step remaining to declare total defeat of the project occurred: The Court of Appeals of the DC Circuit issued an order dismissing challenges to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) March 2020 authorizations for the project and allows FERC to vacate those authorizations. More specifically, the court granted FERC’s request to dismiss the petitions filed last year challenging these critical permits by the State of Oregon, affected landowners, the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw and Cow Creek band of the Umpqua Tribes, and environmental organizations. We have been following this project for years. The January 17 issue provides a brief account of local and state League involvement in opposing it.


Our Children’s Trust (Claudia Keith)


Our Children’s Trust (OCT) Calendar Events

OCT Press Release January 28, 2022

Alaska Supreme Court Denies Young Alaskans Access to Justice in Constitutional Climate Case: 2 Active Justices Rule for the Youth; 1 Active Justice and 2 in Retirement Rule for the Government.

News:

Alaska Supreme Court Rules 3-2 Against Young People Suing for Livable Climate

January 20, 2022 - YES! Magazine

What They Knew: The U.S. Government and the Climate Crisis


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.