Climate Emergency

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February 28, 2022 - Week 4

Back to Full Legislative Report

Climate Emergency Highlights

National, Regional, and Oregon CE News Highlights

Forestry

Clean Energy

Clean Buildings

Transportation

Our Children's Trust

Volunteer Opportunities


Coordinator: Claudia Keith

Team: Julie Chapman, Shirley Weathers, Cathy Frischmann, Josie Koehne, Kathy Moyd, Robin

Tokmakian and Greg Martin


Climate Emergency Highlights and Priority Bills (Claudia Keith)

Most CE priority Bills are still alive and listed below; many are awaiting W&Ms votes or 2nd Chamber votes, some have bipartisan support.

(Find additional information on these six bills below)

National, Regional and Oregon CE News Highlights (Claudia Keith)

White House Predicts Major Delays to Climate Rules after Court Nixes Carbon Metric (Social Cost of Carbon) - Scientific American. Climate Change Could Increase Risk of Wildfires 50% by Century's End - The New York Times. Why the White House Never Released Its 2030 Climate Strategy - Scientific American. US Oil Industry Uses Ukraine Invasion to Push for More Drilling at Home - The New York Times. The Supreme Court Could Block Climate Change Protections - Scientific American. Opinion | The Supreme Court Confronts Climate Change - The New York Times. Climate change is intensifying Earth’s water cycle at twice the predicted rate, research shows | Climate crisis | The Guardian. Utility regulators eye new tools to ensure equity efforts don't impinge on other policy goals | Utility Dive. 15 years of Supreme Court climate fights come to a head Monday - E&E News

Mixed Water Supply Conditions in the Northwest Affect 2022 Hydropower Outlook – CleanTechnica. Pipeline expansion would increase the flow of natural gas through the Northwest – OPB.

Oregon lawmakers want to change fuel tank regulation to guard against a big spill – updated OPB. Portland community leaders bring the heat to building standards — High Country News – Know the West. Oregon's climate resiliency budget to prevent deaths, save 5 billion gallons by 2030 | KTVL. US Plans to Auction3 GW Offshore Oregon, Pinpoints Three Areas | Offshore Wind. Wave Energy Nails Spot Among 68 New ARPA-E Projects. IEEFA U.S.: Expert testimony supports Oregon’s HB 4115, calls for transparency on climate risk - Institute for Energy Economics & Financial Analysis. STATUS CHECK: Where key legislative bills are on week 4 – Oregon Capital Chronicle. Likelihood of extreme autumn fire weather has increased 40%, Oregon State modeling shows | Oregon State University. Low-carbon cement tested at Oregon State approved for California highway projects | Oregon State University. Oregon OSHA proposes new safety rules for heat and smoke | KATU

Mark Your Calendars (Claudia Keith)

Attend as a League Observer, interested citizen, and/or view recorded agency and commission meetings, including new reports and studies.

Agency and Commissions (Claudia Keith)

Find updates across many agencies: State of Oregon “Action on Climate Change”.

Find weekly 2022 updates: Oregon Greenhouse Emissions Program, and DOE weekly blog updates, and New Oregon Dept of Energy (ODOE) Report.

Forestry (Josie Koehne)

The Fate of SB 1534A , the Natural and Working Lands bill is still uncertain. As a result of the Oregon Global Warming Commission’s (OGWC) 2021 Natural and Working Lands Proposal and its goals, the OGWC advanced SB 1534 with the adopted -2 amendment 2 was finalized and referred to W&Ms on Feb 14 where it remains. It is rumored that this bill among others might not pass due to strong opposition to another bill, the overtime for farm workers bill, but supporters are hopeful that some portion of the bill will be funded. The author, Catherine MacDonald feels the funding for a work group to continue to work on refining the bill for the next long session is her top priority. The Legislative Fiscal Office did this financial analysis on the bill’s funding requests:

LFO fiscal analysis is:

  • $568,950 Institute of Natural Resources (INR)

  • Dept of Energy 1 FTE Research Analyst $140,467

  • Dept of Agriculture $143,863 Policy Analyst

This fiscal does not include the Dept of Forestry, but it too will need a climate analyst at the same cost $143,863 to coordinate and engage with INR to develop the program. The League sent emails to legislators to support funding for the top two bulleted items above.

On Friday Feb 25 at 5:30 in House Revenue, a work session on HB 4115 that directs the Oregon Investment Council (which oversees the investment and allocation of all State of Oregon trust funds, including the Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund, the Common School Fund, and the State Accident Insurance Fund) to publish a complete list of state assets held in investment funds each year, and report on those investments that might be vulnerable to changing climate conditions. The -3 amendment to the bill defines “climate-related financial risk” as meaning “material financial risk posed by the effects of climate change, including intense storms, rising sea levels, higher global temperatures, economic damages from carbon emissions, and other effects due to public policy on climate change, shifting consumer attitudes or changing economics of traditional carbon-intense industries.” We reported on this bill in our last Revenue LR.

Clean Energy (Kathy Moyd)

HB 4058 and SB SB 1536, respectively, merged into SB 1536, providing cooling for renters and vulnerable homeowners either with temporary air conditioners or installed heat pumps. It passed on a 17 – 5 vote in full W&Ms on February 26, and awaits a Senate vote. League testimony for HB 4058 and SB 1536 had been provided while the bills were separate.

SB 1519 A, Property Tax Exemption for Community Solar Projects, was passed unanimously by the Senate on February 26 and is awaiting a vote in the House. 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) was amended on February 22 to remove the requirement for apprenticeship programs on renewable energy generation, sequestration or storage facility projects other than community solar between 2 and 10 megawatts capacity. League  testimony supported the lower value on all projects. It passed the Senate unanimously on February 25 and concurrence on the amendment was scheduled for a House vote on February 28.

SB 1567 passed 16 – 6 by the full W&Ms on February 24,scheduled for a Senate vote on March 1. It requires an owner or operator of a large bulk oil 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.


Clean Buildings (Julie Chapman, Kathy Moyd)

League testimony supported SB 1518, to adopt a construction Reach Code to reduce building emissions by at least 10% below the base code. The bill was amended to establish a Task Force to Identify and evaluate policies related to building codes and building decarbonization for new and existing buildings that would enable this state to meet greenhouse gas emissions reduction passed goals while maximizing additional benefits, such as increasing energy efficiency, improving resilience against climate change, improving public health and air quality, reducing the percentage of household income that goes toward energy costs and mitigating the displacement and other impacts that result from wildfires, heat waves and other climate change events. It passed the full W&Ms with a vote of 14 – 8 on February 24 and was scheduled for a vote in the Senate on March 1.

Transportation (Julie Chapman)

HB 4139 with a 20 - 1 vote by the full W&Ms on February 26 and is awaiting a vote in the House. It requires ODOT to establish a pilot program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by means of replacing or substituting certain materials used in constructing or maintaining the state transportation system. LWVOR joined environmental, materials manufacturing, and contractor associations to testify in favor of the bill.


Our Children’s Trust (OCT) and Other Climate Lawsuits. (Claudia Keith)

Feb 25 Alaska Supreme Court Again Denies Justice for Young Alaskans in Constitutional Climate Case . This is not specific to OCT cases but a major Climate related Lawsuit case: 15 years of Supreme Court climate fights come to a head Monday - E&E News. Here’s an article in a Colorado paper related to its Climate lawsuit; Climate accountability lawsuit update | News | telluridenews.com. “Yesterday, (2/23/22) for the first time, a state court in Hawai‘i issued a ruling denying a motion to dismiss in a #climatenuisance case, a key step towards trial. Our climate law fellow Korey Silverman-Roati breaks down the decision & its broader implications” Columbia University Law School - Sabin Center for Climate Change Law


Climate Emergency Team Volunteer Opportunities (Claudia Keith)

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) CE related 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. 9) Climate Related OSHA Regs and 10) 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.