April 12, 2021 - Week 13
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 and Priority Legislation (Claudia Keith)
Please contact your Representative and Senator and ask them to support these three Climate Emergency Priority Bills. (Find Your Legislators)
A formal OCAP (Oregon Climate Action Plan) Coalition Progress report was formally released March 29 This coalition was formed after March 2020 Gov Brown ‘s Carbon Policy Executive Orders. Find more information at Renew Oregon. Find OCAP update interview on NPR Public Radio HERE. Note, there continues to be concerns/issues related to Oregon Dept of Forestry ODF and ODA (Oregon Dept of Agriculture) climate action plans, targets and reporting criterium.
Mark your calendars:
-Oregon Regional Solutions $40M may be approved by the Legislature this session. See NR Report: Possibility of major Infrastructure Investments by Region – join the conversation via Public Hearings.
Please consider following this infrastructure funding topic by signing up HERE
Global/National/Federal Updates (Claudia Keith)
Racism, inequities move to the center of the climate debate.
To be announced at Biden’s April Earth Week Climate Summit: What a fair climate target looks like for the US, the largest historical carbon emitter. Biden is about to announce a new 2030 climate target. Reuters: Seven takeaways from Bidens Budget Proposal: Defense, Immigration and Climate . The Economist: Joe Biden’s Climate Gamble. Scientific American: Biden says Infrastructure is the Pillar of his Climate Plan. NPR: Biden Climate Agenda, Jobs, Infrastructure and Climate Solutions. Bloomberg: Mark Carney Aim for Global Banking Climate Pledge at Biden Summit. Bidens Plans to Announce Climate Risk Strategy at Financial Assets at Summit. BARRONS: Odds improve on Global deal on Corporate Tax, as Yellen signals her agreement on principal. EPA CHIEF directs agency to PUT FOCUS ON Environmental Justice. Biden seeks huge investments in Education, Health care and Environmental protection in first budget request to Congress. Update: Energy and Infrastructure. Another White House Summit as semiconductor shortages worsen. The Chip industry has a problem with its Carbon Footprint. Nature: New physics. Is the standard model broken? Physicists cheer major muon result. U.S. Dept of Treasury: Remarks by Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen addressing the threats of Climate Change to the Coalition of Finance Ministers of Climate Action. World Bank: Working towards a green, resilient and inclusive recovery. Yellen speaks to the president’s latest Budget FY22 discretionary funding request . In the West signs Warn That a 20-Year Drought Will Persist and Intensify - Critical April 1 snowpack readings once again spell trouble, and new studies show the warming climate is lengthening dry spells and shrinking the snowpack, even in winter. Bank of America will deploy $1T for sustainable Finance by 2030. Moody’s and Climate Risk reporting… Find Active 117th Congressional Legislation Climate bills HERE .
Region and State:
Cascadia’s communities of Color speak out against climate injustice.
Curb climate easy way, do not cut down the big trees… Washington State Senate passes statewide cap on carbon bill 25-24. Fighting Pipelines to the last mile. Bloomberg: Here’s all the climate science you need to know. OSU physics Dept, New discovery. OSU helps new commercial wave center. Fiber Optics OSU and UofO Ocean research. Washington State Trust Lands... the Green Super Heroes. Governor plans to plow federal dollars into rural Oregon… Oregon’s Racial Justice Council Priorities.
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. And DOE weekly blog updates HERE.
Clean Energy and Other CE Topics (Kathy Moyd and Greg Martin) Hot off the press! HB 2021, 100% Clean Energy, had two separate amendments, -5 and -9, which were both supported by many
stakeholders and for which we wrote combined testimony. There is now a -23 amendment which combines the two, so on Monday the single amendment can be adopted and the amended HB 2021 can be voted on.
The House Energy and Environment had separate public hearings on HB 2021 on April 5 and April 7. LWVOR submitted testimony supporting both amendments and calling attention to the improvements from HB 2021-1.
Both the -1 amendment and -5 amendment require all retail electricity providers to provide 80% greenhouse gas emissions below the 2010-12 baseline by 2030 and 90% by 2035. The -1 amendment just asked the electricity providers to “seek to provide only nonemitting electricity” by 2040; the -5 amendment requires them to “rely on nonemitting
electricity” to meet the 2040 100% below baseline requirement. It allows local governments to establish community-wide “green tariffs” to support clean energy development through electric rates, which would be opt-out only. It would create responsible contractor labor standards for large-scale renewable projects and forbid siting or expansion of a new natural gas-fired power plant unless it generates only nonemitting electricity. The -9 amendment would create a $50 million grant program to support community renewable energy projects. The fiscal statements had not been posted by April 9. Assuming the -23 amendment passes, the bill will be referred to Ways and Means.
On April 5 the Committee also heard public testimony on an alternative bill, HB 3180-3, which would seek to achieve the clean energy targets through PUC’s Renewable Portfolio Standards process, as opposed to HB 2021’s emissions-based approach.
HB 2021 and two other House bills for which we provided Senate Committee testimony will be voted on at work sessions on April 12. HB 3375 establishes a goal of planning for development of three gigawatts of commercial scale floating offshore wind energy projects. HB 3278 proposes to study the potential for developing commercial seaweed production to produce feed for livestock as means to reduce methane emissions.
As of April 8 the three Senate bills we supported in the Senate Energy and Environment Committee have been passed by the Senate. SB 589, which provides for evaluating a regional transmission organization, and SB 333, which provides for a study of renewable hydrogen, passed with only 1 No vote each. SJM 5 which asked Congress to pass and the President to sign the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, a
carbon fee and dividend bill, passed 23-5, thus with significant bipartisan support. At the time the bill was considered, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act had been introduced in the previous Congressional session. However, it has now been re-introduced with the same name.
SB 318, Resource Adequacy, for which we missed providing testimony because of a late amendment, has been passed unanimously by the Senate Committee. It has been referred to Ways and Means; we will probably provide testimony as resource adequacy is a major concern. HB 2475, Energy Affordability, which previously passed the House with a 36-20 vote is scheduled for a Senate Energy and Environment Committee public hearing on April 22. We plan to update our testimony.
Transportation (Julie Chapman)
HB 2942 A Healthy Homes, passed out of the House Committee on Housing with unanimous approval and a Do Pass recommendation with amendments, and was referred to Joint Committee on Ways and Means. The bill provides funding to homeowners and landlords to remove exposure to an impressive range of health hazards, and provide structural and safety improvements for low income Oregonians and members of communities “impacted by environmental justice
factors.” Earlier testimony supported the reduced medical expenses and improved energy efficiency of recommended improvements. Funded out of the General Fund. Referred to Joint Committee on Ways and Means.
HB 2165 A Requires electric companies that make sales of electricity to 25,000 or more retail electricity consumers in this state to collect 0.25% of billing amount from all retail electricity consumers, to be expended to support transportation electrification pursuant to the plan accepted by the Public Utility Commission. The League provided testimony supporting the bill, citing the urgency of developing infrastructure to support transition to zero-emission vehicles and the importance of using one-half of the funds to develop infrastructure in vulnerable communities. The bill also doubles the rebates in the Charge Ahead program for low income Oregonians, to assist in the purchase of new or used zero-emission or hybrid vehicles, making the costs comparable to those for internal combustion cars of a similar class.
HB 2529 Modifies maximum suggested retail price for qualifying vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells for purposes of zero-emission and vehicle rebate.
An Informational meeting was held for I-5 Bridge Replacement Project Update, with implications for rail, transit, non-vehicle crossings and Washington-Oregon-Federal nexus.
HB 2290 A Requires the State Parks and Recreation Department to develop, implement and periodically update their plan for installation and service of public electric vehicle charging stations in parking spaces that are part of facilities of the state park system. Passed as amended, with Do Pass Recommendation to the Senate Floor.
Dates for upcoming committee hearings are remarkably fluid, and may change with little advance warning.
HB 2814 Environmental Quality Commission to establish and implement indirect source review program. Indirect sources of air quality contamination refer to locations where exhaust from multiple vehicles or construction equipment adversely impact air quality in the surrounding neighborhoods. Work session to be held 4/14.
Jordan Cove and Other CE Topics (Shirley Weathers)
Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and Attorneys General of 18 other states have filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court supporting New Jersey, after SCOTUS agreed to hear a challenge from Penn East Pipeline Co. LLC of Third Circuit Court’s ruling that private parties cannot sue states to seize land for their projects under eminent domain. The states assert that Congress—in this case via the Natural Gas Act, which provides that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) can convey to governmental authority to seize property under eminent domain to private natural gas pipeline developers—cannot strip away the immunity from private suit guaranteed to states by virtue of their sovereign status. The brief states that, “Intergovernmental takings require an exercise of political responsibility that cannot be delegated to a private party." It goes on to say, “"States are sovereigns, and immunity from private suit is inherent in the nature of sovereignty. The states did not surrender their sovereign immunity from private suit through ratification of the Constitution. Congress has no authority to abrogate that immunity when exercising its Commerce Clause powers," the brief said. While all of the states have an interest in questions of state sovereignty, Oregon and Maryland are in the position of potentially having private entities (in Oregon’s case, Pembina Corporation, LLC, owner of the Jordan Cove Energy Project) bring suit for the right to cross state lands and waters.
SB 392A: Relating to fugitive emissions study (Shirley Weathers)
SCR 17, Establishing an environmental justice framework of principles for the State of Oregon (Shirley Weathers) SCR 17 passed the Senate on a bipartisan vote of 22 to 7 on April 8. It is now headed to the House.
Find these Climate Emergency related bills in the NR Legislative Report:
HB 2488: "Equity and Climate in Land Use”: A bill to incorporate environmental justice, equity and climate goals into our statewide land use planning goals, (Reps. Power and Helm and Senators Golden, Frederick, Manning and Dembrow)
HB 2065: Modernize Recycling System Relating to modernizing Oregon's recycling system. Requires producers of covered products to join the producer responsibility organization unless exempt.
HB 5024 Oregon Health Authority Climate / Environmental Justice Public Health Budget POP 417.
Our Children’s Trust (Claudia Keith)
Biden Administration (DOJ) Calls on 9th Circuit Court to Halt Kids’ Climate Case Expect a reintroduction soon of the LWVUS supported / endorsed 116th Congressional Children's Fundamental Rights and Climate Recovery Concurrent Resolutions.