February 21, 2022 - Week 3
Climate Emergency Highlights (Claudia Keith)
Our six CE priority Bills are still alive and listed below; many are awaiting a J W&Ms sub-committee public hearing.
(Find additional information on these six bills below)
National, Regional and Oregon CE News Highlights
Fact check: How aggressive is Gov. Kate Brown's clean-energy timeline? | Statesman Journal.
Climate Change Is Seen as Most Worrying Threat to World Security | Bloomberg. Drought fueled by climate change the worst in 1,200 years scientists say | CNBC. Biden’s New 'Clean Energy' Plan Will Overhaul U.S. Manufacturing |The Atlantic. America’s Power Grid Is Increasingly Unreliable | WSJ. Climate Disclosure Poses Thorny Questions for SEC as Rules Weighed | WSJ . Bills addressing extreme heat move forward in Oregon Legislature | Statesman Journal. US Department of Energy awards $25M for wave energy testing at first-in-nation Oregon facility – OPB. Utility monopolies are hurting rooftop solar. Can antitrust lawsuits rein them in? | Grist. Washington's proposed gas export tax is 'unacceptable,' says Oregon governor - MyNorthwest.com
Mark Your Calendars
Attend as a League Observer, interested citizen, and/or view recorded agency and commission meetings, including new reports and studies.
ODF Climate Carbon Plan Updates
DEQ Climate GHG Program Updates
Oregon Climate Adaptation Framework
Agency and Commissions
Find updates across many agencies at: State of Oregon “Action on Climate Change”.
Forestry (Josie Koehne)
SB 1534A establishes a state policy to increase net carbon sequestration in natural and working lands and waters.
As a result of the Oregon Global Warming Commission’s (OGWC) 2021 Natural and Working Lands Proposal and its goals, OGWC advanced SB 1534 in response to the governor’s 20-04 executive order. A -2 amendment was developed by the OGWC team in response to testimony on Feb 8, both oral and written. The -2 was finalized, adopted and voted on Feb 10 in the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Wildfire Recovery, referred directly to W&Ms on Feb 14. The vote was 3 ayes, 1 nay and 1 excused.
SB 1534 states that “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 LWVOR and our partners are working hard to advance the Natural and Working Lands Bill (SB 1534A) this legislative session, which ends in just two weeks!
The revised bill will enable Oregon’s natural and working lands (NWL) to be voluntarily managed as a resilient and robust carbon sink, while maintaining the health of our economy and communities and enhancing social equity and quality of life for Oregonians. SB 1534A is rooted in the voluntary stewardship of our natural and working lands.
This bill will:
Define NWL, establishing the policy direction to advance net carbon sequestration and storage and resilience strategies.
Create an NWL Advisory Group at the Oregon Global Warming Commission (OGWC).
Direct Oregon State University to develop metrics, an NWL inventory, and a workforce and economic development study.
Direct state agencies to report on metrics and the inventory.
We have already done one action alert on HB1534, but are hoping to get out another alert to include details of the -2. We urge LWVOR members statewide to contact their state senators and representatives as soon as possible before time runs out and urge them to call or email the legislative management team, President of the Senate, Sen. Courtney and Speaker of the House, Rep. Wagner to pass HB1534A. They need to hear from their constituents that this issue is vital to the state. Please mention why you think a carbon sequestration bill is important to you. If you know farmers or forestry owners, large or small, please contact them and ask them to send an email in support!
Emergency Heat Relief for Renters (Greg Martin)
SB 1536-2 The Senate Housing & Development Committee voted 5-0 to send to the floor with a do-pass recommendation, with prior referral to Joint W&M. LWVOR provided written testimony in support, which would provide emergency cooling assistance for renters at risk of extreme heat events like last year’s “heat dome.” It would establish the Residential Heat Pump Fund with a general revenue appropriation of $15 million for ODOE to provide rebates for heat pump installation and grants for electrical and mechanical upgrades to facilitate heat pump installation for renters. Of the grants and rebate moneys available each year, 25% would be reserved for affordable housing providers and 25% for owners of units occupied by lower-income households. ODOE would also receive $1 million to distribute grants to nongovernmental entities to help landlords operate community cooling centers during a heat emergency, plus $500,000 to conduct a study of the cooling and electrical needs of publicly supported housing, manufactured dwelling parks, and recreational vehicle parks.
Cap & Reduce and Clean Energy (Kathy Moyd, Greg Martin)
HB 4058 A Emergency Heat Relief for Communities is a coalition priority bill: It has been referred to the W&Ms Subcommittee On Transportation and Economic Development; no public hearing or work session has been scheduled. 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 A, Property Tax Exemption for Community Solar Projects, had its public hearing in the Senate Finance and Revenue Committee on February 16 and is scheduled for a work session on February 23. 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.
HB 4059 A, which contains fixes for the large-project labor standards in HB 2021 (2021), had a public hearing in the Senate Labor and Business Committee on February 17. League testimony. There was considerable confusion among the Committee members about what the bill as amended in the House did with respect to apprenticeship programs and project labor standards. There was also confusion with respect to the difference between project labor standards and project labor agreements. A small group will meet with the bill drafter to resolve issues, with a continued public hearing and possible work session on February 22.
SB 1567 A passed unanimously on February 14, referred to the W&Ms Subcommittee on Natural Resources; no public hearing or work session has been scheduled. As amended, it requires an owner or operator of a large bulk oils or liquid fuels terminal in Columbia, Multnomah, or Lane county to conduct a comprehensive seismic vulnerability assessment. 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. League testimony.
Our Children’s Trust (Claudia Keith)
Date set for first youth-led climate trial in U.S. history | NBC News. State Courts Should Hear Cities’ Climate Deception Lawsuits | Bloomberg. Climate kids' lawsuits pursue new tack - Texans for Lawsuit Reform| TortReform. 13 Youth File 'Vital' Constitutional Climate Lawsuit Against Virginia . | Common Dreams. Global Legal Actions: Our Children’s Trust represents, supports, and inspires youth and attorneys around the world who develop and advance legal actions to compel science-based government action on climate change in their own countries...”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.