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Climate Emergency

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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


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.