April 5, 2021 - Week 12
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)
100% Clean Energy HB 2021 hearing is April 5 with new amendments
soon…. Final stakeholder amendments may not be available until Monday for the first of two public hearings, with a tentative work session is April 7.
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 the Renew Oregon site HERE. Find OCAP update interview on NPR Public Radio HERE.
Mark your calendars:
Oregon Dept of Lands and Conservation Development:
Climate-Friendly and Equitable Communities, Rulemaking Effort Seeks Your Guidance. More info HERE
Climate-Friendly and Equitable Communities
“Community Conversations Rulemaking Effort Seeks Community Guidance
SALEM – Last March, Governor Kate Brown issued Executive Order 20- 04, directing agencies to reduce climate pollution. In response, the Land Conservation and Development Commission initiated its Climate- Friendly and Equitable Communities rulemaking last fall to significantly strengthen Oregon’s administrative rules about transportation and housing planning.
The effort is focused particularly on areas with populations over 50,000 people (Albany, Bend, Corvallis, Eugene-Springfield, Grants Pass, Medford-Ashland, Portland Metro, and Salem- Keizer).
To provide guidance for the rulemaking process, the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) staff have convened a diverse Rulemaking Advisory Committee. DLCD staff are now partnering with local government staff to convene community conversations to help ensure elected and appointed community leaders and community members are apprised of the rulemaking and are invited into the process.
Join the Conversation!
April 6, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm Albany-Corvallis (register here) April 13, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm Southern Oregon (register here) May 11, Noon – 1:30 pm Bend (register here)
May 19, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm Eugene-Springfield (register here) May 25, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm Salem-Keizer (register here) “
Oregon Regional Solutions Major Infrastructure Investments by Region Public Hearings. Please consider following this infrastructure funding topic by signing up HERE
Join the Conversation
Global/National/Federal Updates (Claudia Keith)
PBS News: Brooks and Capehart analysis of Bidens Infrastructure Stimulus Plan. WP & Reuters: Infrastructure Plan Analysis – Mass Transit topic. White House Climate Director Gina McCarthy on the topic of Nuclear Energy. Brookings Reports: Rising Impacts of CC implications for science, law, capital markets policy. Climate Violence and Migration and Global Economic Impacts of Climate Shocks climate
policy and changes in climate risk assessment. Nature.com editorial: Net- zero carbon pledges must be meaningful to avert climate disaster. EE:
White House: Here's what Biden could include in his Paris climate pledge Reuters: Climate will deepen the poor and rich
divide. Economists weigh in on the merits of net-zero climate goals. EE & Economist: Economist Survey; ’what would different levels of global warming look like?’ National Carbon Tax Upheld by Canada's Supreme Court - Scientific American. MIT: GeoEngineering balloon experiment Sweden suspended. Yellen leads financial :Pressure for hedge fund scrutiny builds as Yellen leads her first U.S. financial stability meeting.
EPA administrator Michael Regan dismissed Trump appointees on advisory panels, saying he wants to restore scientific
integrity. FINANCE: In a first, top U.S. economic group to discuss climate risks.
The Economist: March meltdown snow drought is worsening
the American West’s water woes -A lack of snow in the Colorado river basin is exacerbating an existing drought and heralding future problems
Region and State:
Portland Clean Energy Fund rolls out their first set of grants. “The city approved $8.6 million, divided up among 38 nonprofits, for projects that advance racial and climate justice.” Grist: “the U.S. is finally looking to unlock the potential of wave energy. After decades of false starts, thefederal approval of a new testing site off the coast of Oregon could give wave energy a much-needed jolt. OPB: Leg session at risk…” Covering your Climate: Pacific NW rides adaption wave. Oregon Wild: A Bold New Vision for PNW forests. A New Toolbox for CC reporting in the emerald corridor. OSU: New Research Water Sheds effected by wildfires.
Research Institute at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory + others
‘Study Exposes Global Ripple Effects of Regional Water Scarcity’ and Decoding black box AI tackle national security concerns. Seattle Times: Preserve Hydropower’s role in the clean energy future.
Oregonian: Pacific Power ‘Other utilities cut power to reduce Labor Day fire risks, Pacific Power did not. Now it may face the consequences.
NewportTimes: OSU receives NSF wave grant. NuScale and other nuclear energy companies could be affected by Bidens Clean Energy mandate.
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.
Coalition Shared Priorities:
The League is an active member of OCN, OCAP and is considering joining the Clean Energy Opportunity Coalition; all these groups prioritize the following 3 bills.
HB 2021: 100% Clean Energy (was HB 2995) HB 2475: The Oregon Energy Affordability Act HB 2842: Healthy Homes
Clean Energy and Other Topics (Kathy Moyd)
HB 3375 establishes the goal of planning for development of three gigawatts of commercial scale floating offshore wind energy projects within federal waters off the Oregon Coast by 2030. After the late posting of an amendment fixing problems with the bill and thanks to quick work by the LWVOR team, we were able to submit testimony in Support. The major problem was the lack of consideration of the shore and coast sides of the implementation. Fortunately, we had advance notice that an ameliorating amendment was in progress, allowing the writing of testimony, and Amendment-1 was posted shortly before the Public Hearing on March 31. In particular, the Department Of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) was changed from just being one member of a task force to taking a leading position. The Work Session is scheduled for April 12.
Negotiations for HB 2021 100% Clean Energy have reportedly been successful. It is not known whether the corresponding amendment will be available for the April 5 Public Hearing; another Public Hearing has been scheduled for April 7. LWVOR plans to provide testimony.
HB 2190 directs the State Department of Energy to convene a work group to develop a program awarding grants for community energy resilience projects and to implement programs no later than January 1, 2023. The bill as printed had very little detail; Amendment-3 has now been submitted including more details. The Public Hearing is scheduled for April 7; the Work Session is scheduled for April 12. LWVOR supports actions to enhance resilience; we will evaluate the specifics of the bill to determine if we will provide testimony.
HB 2189 directs the Public Utility Commission to conduct a study related to renewable energy and to provide results of study in report to interim committees of the Legislative Assembly related to energy no later than September 15, 2021. Sunsets January 2, 2022. Declares emergency, effective on passage. No amendment to replace the generic text has yet been posted. The Public Hearing is April 12 to be followed immediately by a possible Work Session. We will monitor it for amendments and provide testimony if appropriate.
Forestry (Josie Koehne)
At the recent OCAP meeting on April 1, Grace Brahler reported on forestry but just pointed to the three policy letters in the January Board of Forestry meeting for the Natural and Working Lands Table, (Agriculture and Forestry). She reported that there will be a new OCAP survey, this time to survey forestry workers, such as those who replant trees after harvest and wildfire, and who apply pesticides and fertilizer as seedlings get started. Hopefully health issues such as from pesticide toxicity and wildfire smoke and heat exposure questions will be included, as well as questions about wages, wage theft and racial discrimination issues, since most forest workers in these kinds of jobs are of Mexican and Central American decent, many of whom have legal documentation issues so they tend to be more susceptible to exploitation.
The March Board of Forestry meeting had a brief update on climate goals from Catherine MacDonald of Oregon Global Warming Commission. She said there are advisory work groups working on blue (ocean and wetlands), green (forests, plants and agriculture) and brown carbon sequestration (soils including tree roots store a lot of carbon). The landowner survey done in January with structured input is still not complete. Catherine admitted the questions in the survey about barriers to better carbon sequestration were too broad, and that they need much more stakeholder input from a variety of sectors. There is a first draft of the baseline of the forestry carbon inventory and they will be doing projections based on the inventory in next few months. There are difficulties in measuring/quantifying both anthropogenic vs natural emissions with a lot of uncertainty. The level of certainty will be helped by work at the federal level. We need to look at how other states are measuring their goals for emission reduction.
Next month the OGWC will look to try to assess the potential of forests to sequester carbon.
Ms. MacDonald raised seven questions that need to be answered, such as what is the purpose of land sector goal or various land sector goals, what kinds of goals should be set? How detailed or inclusive should they be?
What accountability should be included in defining goals and what are the consequences if we don’t reach the governor’s emission targets.
Questions raised by the Board: how to deal with the problem that private land economics interfere with meeting OCAP goals? What is forest
products’ place in meeting the goals that are included in the carbon inventory. Are net-carbon emissions in harvesting timber included in the carbon inventory and what are the boundaries between state and federal emissions?
Incentives for carbon sequestration will be in the proposal due in June.
OCAP’s March 2021 One-year Progress Report of the working lands table was quite broad and general in nature, and lacked the specificity that would be helpful for implementation; it seemed to be watered down from the first draft of the report that included a grading system.
Suggestions and public input is sought on the OGWC website as to how to set and meet the goals of the timeline.
JCEP and other CE Legislation (Shirley Weathers)
Project owner Pembina has just received more bad news. Fitch Ratings has lowered Ruby LLC’s credit rating to CCC+, meaning: "Substantial credit risk: Default is a real possibility." This involves a lot of market dynamics and other complexities, but Pembina is part-owner of the Ruby Pipeline and apparently has been counting on Jordan Cove moving forward to be able to book more of the Ruby’s capacity. It has never been booked above 40%. But since JCEP isn’t happening on the hoped for schedule, the value of the pipeline has dropped.
SB 392, Relating to fugitive emissions study (Shirley Weathers)
SB 392A-Engrossed (not yet available at this writing) was referred on March 24 to the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Natural Resources due to its $300,000 fiscal impact statement. The
SCR 17, Establishing an environmental justice framework of principles for the State of Oregon (Shirley Weathers)
The Senate Energy and Environment Committee voted unanimously in its March 23 work session to move the bill forward with a Do Adopt recommendation. It is headed to the Senate Floor. LWVOR
submitted testimony in support.
Our Children’s Trust (Claudia Keith)
Expect a reintroduction soon of the LWVUS supported / endorsed 116th Congressional Children's Fundamental Rights and Climate Recovery. Concurrent Resolutions.