January 17, 2022 - Pre-Session Report
Climate Emergency Highlights
By Claudia Keith
CE five priority bills for Oregon 2022 short Leg Session are:
Oregon Global Warming Commission Natural and Working Lands Proposal Bill SB1534 / LC240
‘Environmental Justice for ALL’ follow-up to 2021 SB 286. Find 2021 LWVOR testimony HERE.
Emergency Heat Relief for Communities. LC 144
Reach Code, create an optional energy efficient building code. SB 1518
Leg Session 2021 HB2021 update LC 222
(find additional information on these bills below)
Interim Session CE advocacy since November
LWVOR Thank you sign on letter to Oregon Congressmen who voted for Build Back Better Bill
League Letter : Transportation ODOT Testimony.
National, Regional and Oregon CE News Highlights
5 things to know about Washington’s 2022 legislative session - OPB
Oregon is one of five states leading the country in Climate policy. ‘Inside Clean Energy: Here Are 5 States that Took Leaps on Clean Energy Policy in 2021 - Inside Climate News . BBBA - BUILD BACK BETTER ACT : FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Races to Deploy Clean Energy that Creates Jobs and Lowers Costs | The White House . OREGON Environmental Quality Commission approves DEQ GHGE reduction Rules. Western Climate Initiative: OR & WA Add Caps to CA's AB32 | NRDC . Congress' climate inaction puts spotlight on the courts - E&E News
Mark Your Calendars
January 19 , 4-5pm ‘Transforming Oregon's Transportation Future ‘ - Oregon Environmental Council - IF I HAD A BILLION DOLLARS: HOW WE CAN TRANSFORM OREGON’S TRANSPORTATION FUTURE
Transportation Planning Rules (January 2022)
Housing Rules (January 2022)
Metropolitan Greenhouse Gas Reduction Rules (January 2022)
Climate Friendly and Equitable Communities RAC Meeting January 20, 2022
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
Agency and Commissions
The State of Oregon “Action on Climate Change” web page has updates across many agencies. Find weekly 2021 updates at Oregon Greenhouse Emissions Program web page. DOE weekly blog updates HERE. New Oregon Dept of Energy (ODOE) Report HERE.
Cap & Reduce, Clean Energy and Other (Kathy Moyd and Julie Chapman)
2022 Proposed Legislation
SB 1518 Reach Building Code
Interim Senate Energy and Environment Committee January 11
LC 39 (to become SB 1518) Adds Reach Code to state building code as specialty code. Requires Director of Department of Consumer and Business Services to follow the same process in adopting or amending Reach Code that director follows in developing residential and commercial building codes and to ensure that statewide Reach Code mandates achievement of not more than 90% of site energy use that other statewide residential and commercial building codes require. Requires director to adopt Reach Code at same time director adopts corresponding residential specialty code or corresponding structural specialty code, updating Reach Code at least every three years.
Permits municipality to adopt Reach Code and require adherence to code as minimum construction standard and method within municipality’s jurisdiction notwithstanding requirement that state building code be uniform and applicable to all municipalities in state. Provides that municipality’s adoption of Reach Code is not amendment to state building code and does not require approval of director. Provides that municipality that does not adopt Reach Code does not need to enforce Reach Code within municipality’s jurisdiction. Declares emergency, effective July 1, 2022.
LWVOR signed a coalition support letter for this bill and several organizations have sent action alerts.
2021 HB 2021 Update – Large Scale Projects
Interim House Environment and Natural Resources Committee January 12
LC 222 Large-scale Project Labor Standards. Redefines “large-scale project” for purposes of contractor labor standards as a renewable energy generation, sequestration, or storage facility with a capacity rating of two megawatts or greater, except for a community solar facility with a capacity rating of three megawatts or greater. This change applies only for apprenticeship programs, for which it also clarifies good faith exception to required total work hours performed by apprentices. The labor standards for regular workers are specified to apply only to large-scale projects with a capacity rating of 10 megawatts or greater. Makes technical changes to the large-scale project labor standards language in HB 2021 (2021). Exempts contracts and subcontracts with tribal government, agent, or instrumentality of Oregon Indian tribe for large-scale projects on tribal lands from contractor labor standards. Declares emergency, effective on passage.
Emergency Heat Relief Bills
LC 144 Emergency Heat Relief for Communities. Directs Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to create a program to acquire and distribute air conditioners and air purifiers on an emergency basis to individuals eligible for medical assistance. Appropriates $5 million OHA to implement an air conditioner and air purifier acquisition and distribution program. Adds manufactured dwelling park nonprofit cooperative to list of entities eligible to participate in Healthy Homes Program. Clarifies electric utility as eligible entity. Adds improvements to reduce heat and electrical upgrades to types of repair and rehabilitation covered by program grants.
Establishes Heat Pump Deployment Program within Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) to provide grants to entities to provide financial assistance to an eligible entity for each region and federally recognized Indian tribe in Oregon to cover purchase and installation of heat pumps and related upgrades.
Establishes Heat Pump Deployment Advisory Council consisting of representatives from eligible entities administering grant funds under the Heat Pump Deployment Program. Establishes Heat Pump Deployment Fund and appropriates $10 million to the Fund. Directs ODOE Director to develop and submit report related to heat pump technician training programs no later than September 15, 2023.
Directs Public Utility Commission to explore measures to address differentiated rates or energy assistance for ratepayers with higher utility bills during periods of extreme temperatures or poor air quality. Declares emergency, effective on passage.
The planned Informational Meeting for this bill did not occur due to technical problems.
State Agency Advocacy
Cap and Reduce/Emissions Reduction
Department of Environmental Quality
Climate Protection Program (CPP)
The League follows the Climate Protection Program, which originated from the “cap and reduce” directive in the Governor’s Executive Order 20-04. Draft rules were issued for public comment on August 4. The league presented verbal testimony at a public hearing on Draft Rules conducted by the Environmental Quality Commission (EQC) on September 30 and submitted written testimony October 25.
The Final Rules were adopted by the EQC on December 16. The major change from draft rules was taking advantage of “at least” for the targets in Executive order 20-04 to increase the 2035 target from 45% to 50% and the 1950 target from 80% to 90%, in response to the revised science, Oregon’s recent climate disasters, and over 7000 public comments, most asking for stricter limits. Emphasis was increased to take Environmental Justice Communities into account in approving Community Climate Investments.
The DEQ has already started training sessions and providing FAQs for the three natural gas suppliers and other fuel suppliers with over 200,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents who are required to apply for their Climate Protection Program permits by February 14.
Landfill Methane Rules
Although the League certainly supports controlling methane from landfills, we opted not to testify on the draft Landfill Methane rules because it was not clear why the California rules were not accepted completely, leaving the possibility that some small rural landfills would unnecessarily be included. The final rules were adopted by the Environmental Quality Commission agenda on October 1. The smaller landfills had been removed from the program.
Department of Environmental Quality
Two public hearings were conducted on September 16. The League opted not to testify because the California Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) rules to be adopted by Oregon had not been completed. The rules were approved by the EQC on November 17, 2021.
The expansion of the Clean Fuels program in response to the Governor’s Executive Order 20-04 had its first Rulemaking Advisory Committee (RAC) Meeting on December 9, 2021. Some workshops are scheduled in January and February. The next RAC meeting is January 26.
Public Utility Commission
Integrated Resource and Distribution System Planning
League members are participating in some Public Utilities Commission climate change related activities. Development of the Integrated Resource Plans was delayed by two years to accommodate implementing the Climate Protection Program Executive Order 20-04, affecting the three natural gas utilities, and HB 2021 requiring strict limits on electricity sold in Oregon affecting the three electric utilities. In addition, a Distribution System Planning activity has also started. The OCAP Clean Energy (CE) table has been following these activities. For the NW Natural IRP Workshop on February 14, the OCAP CE group used a Google document to coordinate questions among participants, including some asked by a League member. Meetings are distributed among a number of different PUC Dockets; upcoming PUC meetings schedule. The utilities schedule their meetings individually.
Oregon Department of Energy
Offshore Wind and Renewable Hydrogen
2021 HB 3375 which provided for planning of 3 gigawatts of floating offshore wind energy generation in federal waters by 2030 with the potential for excess electricity being used for generating renewable hydrogen and 2021 SB 333 requiring ODOE to study renewable hydrogen production and use were passed by the 2021 legislature. Oregon is on the federal list for offshore wind lease sales in 2023. The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) conducted several meetings and ODOE will have its first meeting on January 20.
2021 HB 2021 Implementation
Community Renewable Energy Grants and Small-Scale Renewable Energy Projects Study were included in HB 2021 Enrolled (2021). A workgroup was convened and met on December 3 for the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Projects Study. An Advisory Committee was appointed for the Community Renewable Energy Grant Program and three Advisory Committee meetings were conducted from October through December 2021. League members participated in some of them. ODOE is also responsible for the Responsible Labor Standards from HB 2021 and ensuring no new fossil-fuel power plants.
Natural & Working Lands / Forestry (Josie Koehne)
ODF has a Climate Change and Carbon Plan (CCCP), revised and approved by the Board of Forestry on Nov. 3, 2021, including some Oregon Global Warming Commission recommendations from its 2021 Natural and Working Lands Proposal (LWVOR comments and LWVOR CCCP comments.
Climate Change and Carbon Plan (CCCP)
The ODF CCCP’s stated purpose is to “Make forestry in Oregon a leader in climate change mitigation and adaptation. The Oregon Department of Forestry will be a leader in promoting climate-smart forest policies and actions that achieve our vison by operationalizing goals, implementing actions, and measuring progress to achieving climate goals.” Its vision statement is to make “Oregon’s Board of Forestry and Department of Forestry national leaders in climate-smart and socially equitable forest policies that promote climate health, resilient forests and watersheds, community wellbeing, and a viable forest products industry.” The CCP defines “climate-smart forestry,” its 10 goals for climate smart forestry and 15 supporting actions that would support those goals. These goals include: Maintenance and Expansion of the Urban Tree Canopy, Afforestation of Low Productivity Lands and Forest Carbon Finance and Markets and other incentives for forest owners who practice climate-smart forestry. Climate-smart forestry is based on “sustainable forest management” which “the Board of Forestry defines as meaning forest resources across the landscape are used, developed, and protected at a rate and in a manner that enables people to meet their current environmental, economic, and social needs, and also provides that future generations can meet their own needs.”
The OGWC’s 2021 Natural and Working Lands Proposal
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. The proposal sets an “Outcome-Based Goal” to “sequester at least an additional 5 MMTCO2e (million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents) per year in Oregon’s natural and working lands and waters by 2030, and at least 9.5 MMTCO2e per year by 2050 relative to a 2010 to 2019 activity=based, business-as-usual net carbon sequestration baseline.” That baseline is 21 MMTCO2e.
“The OGWC recommends that the natural and working lands outcome-based goal should be separate from, and in addition to, Oregon’s sector-based emissions reduction goals as established by the Legislature and updated in Governor Brown’s EO 20-04.”
The LWVOR has been part of a coalition of organizations participating on the Natural and Working Lands (NWL subgroup or table of the Oregon Climate Action Plan (OCAP) group. NWL (now with a W added to include water) has as subgroup working weekly with Catherine MacDonald, Chair of the Global Warming Commission in support LC 240 (will be SB 1534), the funding bill to implement recommendations in the Global Warming Commission’s 2021 Natural and Working Lands Proposal. The LWVOR is part of the group strategizing in support of the upcoming bill. The bill was discussed Jan. 12 during Legislative Days in the Senate Natural Resources and Wildfire Recovery Committee (meeting video), Sen Golden is Chair.
We anticipate LWV support for this bill based on our climate positions and previous testimony. This 8-page bill:
· Establishes state policy to increase carbon sequestration in natural and working lands and waters.
· Requires certain agencies to monitor progress implementing state carbon sequestration policy and report findings to Oregon Global Warming Commission.
· Directs commission to appoint natural and working lands and waters advisory committee.
· Directs Institute for Natural Resources to develop net natural and working lands and waters carbon sequestration inventory.
· Directs certain agencies to prepare 2010 to 2019 carbon sequestration baseline and activity-based metrics and community impact metrics for carbon sequestration in natural and working lands and waters.
· Directs commission to accept or modify metrics and report, providing adopted metrics and recommendations for legislation, to interim Legislative Assembly committees related to environment no later than September 15, 2023.
· Directs OSU Institute for Natural Resources to study workforce and economic development potential of strategies to increase carbon sequestration in natural and working lands and waters and provide results to Legislative Assembly committees related to environment no later than March 15, 2023.
We will discuss SB 1534 details in our next legislative report during the short session, from Feb 1-Mar 7.
Jordan Cove Energy Project (Shirley Weathers)
After 15 years of tenacious opposition, only one step remains to declare total defeat of the Jordan Cove LNG and Pacific Connector Pipeline Project: The Court of Appeal of the DC Circuit must agree to close out litigation over FERC’s authorizing permits granted in March 2020. More specifically, the court must grant FERC’s request to dismiss the petitions challenging these critical permits filed by the State of Oregon, affected landowners, the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw and Cow Creek band of the Umpqua Tribes, and environmental organizations. If it does so, the matter will be sent back to FERC where the agency will carry out plans to vacate authorizations. No one opposed FERC’s January 12 motion to dismiss, including project owner Canadian Pembina Pipeline Corporation. Although one might wonder why they took so long after over a year-long, entirely unsuccessful attempt to obtain critical state and local permits that followed over a decade of intense opposition, on December 1 the company asked FERC to vacate the authorizations.
LWV opposition to the project—based on natural resources, water and air quality, climate change, offshore and coastal management, land use, public health and safety, energy conservation, and seismic risks positions—began early on, but ramped up in earnest when the four affected local Leagues—Coos and Klamath Counties and Rogue and Umpqua Valley—began working together largely to stop state and federal permits in early 2018. LWVOR added their support shortly thereafter, including by contributing funding to the work of an attorney fighting local project permits. Defeating a massive project of this nature ($10 billion price tag) took the tireless work of thousands of people and entities, from individuals acting on their own to lawyers, policy analysts, scientists, academicians, researchers, community organizers, landowners, and state and federal regulatory agency staff. This victory attests to both the independent and collaborative roles the LWV can play in making things happen.
NOTE: There still remains a request to the US Army Corps of Engineers from Port of Coos Bay, closely related to the project with the required assessments that were funded largely by Pembina to widen and deepen the Federal Navigation Channel. This draft EIS is still in the hands of the USACE.
Our Children’s Trust (Claudia Keith)
Nov 2021: ‘Sen. Merkley and Rep. Jones Lead Letters to President Biden and 165+ Orgs Join Letter to DOJ in Support of Children’s Rights to a Safe Climate and Juliana v. U.S. plaintiffs ‘
Dec 2021 : Merrick Garland’s Department of Justice Is Perpetuating Climate Destruction - The American Prospect
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
8) Join Julie, DOT/Transportation with a focus on DLCD/LCD Climate Friendly and Equitable Communities – a major program across multiple agencies. and a priority focus on a just transition, ie;
9) Climate and Environmental Justice.
We all collaborate with Natural Resource Action members on many Climate Change mitigation and adaptation policy topics.