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Climate Emergency

Legislative Report - 1/10 - 1/17

Climate Emergency Priorities

Oregon Climate Action Commission

Oregon Economic Analysis 

Oregon Climate Related Lawsuit

State, Regional and National News

Local League Climate Updates

Volunteers Needed

Climate Emergency Priorities

By Claudia Keith

In preparing for the 2023 Legislative session, we identified six priority policy and budget topics: 

Resilient Buildings: (could include a change to Oregon’s building codes). Refer to the Legislative Joint Task Force on Resilient Efficient Buildings Dec 13 Report. It’s unclear when the bill (s) will be posted to OLIS. The League plans to be an active coalition member.

Natural and Working Lands: (Establishes Natural and Working Lands Fund, carbon sequestration opportunities,…): Natural Climate Solutions SB530. The legislation includes activity-based metrics and community impact metrics for net carbon sequestration and storage in natural and working lands and establishes carbon sequestration and storage goals. (Related, see interim NR committee SB88). The League continues to be an active coalition member.

Environmental Justice: A number of 2023 Leg bills are expected to address new and ongoing related topics. A recent update EPA: ‘EPA Releases Updated Legal Guidance on Identifying, Addressing Cumulative Impacts to Advance Environmental Justice, Equity | US EPA, clearly defines at the federal level this new foundational area. (Related to HB4077 (2022).

Oregon Climate Action Commission 

By Claudia Keith

Oregon Climate Action Commission (currently Oregon Global Warming Commission ) Roadmap, SB 522 , will change "Oregon Global Warming Commission" to "Oregon Climate Action Commission." and modify membership and duties of commission and state greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets/goals. This will direct state agencies to report to the commission on progress toward achieving greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals (see SB 928 2019).

Other Governor Climate / Carbon Policy Topics 

See 20-04 Executive Order topics. This area includes other GHG emission mitigation/reductions and new clean renewable energy (DOE), OHA public health, and DOT Dept of Transportation policy and funding.

CE related total 2023-2025 biennium budget 

The governor’s budget* is scheduled to be available in Feb. There is expected > $50M in CE related state agency POPs and new Legislative funding. (* budget items will come from over 22 state agencies including 14 NR agencies, OHA, DAS, ODOT, ODOE, etc.) 

Other CE Bills

By Claudia Keith

(The League may support or just follow. A preliminary list, at this time only ~half of the total bills have been posted on OLIS.)

Natural Working Lands: Rep Pham’s urban forestry bill, HB 3016, Rep Holvey’s severance tax bill, HB 3025 to replace the harvest tax, and ODF’s Regular Harvest tax bill, HB 2087. SB 88 climate smart Ag increases net carbon sequestration and storage in natural and working lands. Requested: Senate Interim Committee on Natural Resources and Wildfire Recovery. See Keep Oregon Cool, Natural Working Lands. 

GHG Emission Mitigation: *HB 2816 High Energy Use Facility - Required GHGE reduction, Chief Sponsors: Dembrow and Marsh.

Fossil Fuel (FF ) Divestment: HB 2601 Oregon FF Divestment … Requires State Treasurer to address the urgency and risk associated with FF energy investments. Chief Sponsors: Rep Pham K, Senator Golden, Rep Gamba.

Green Infrastructure: HB 3016 community green infrastructure,

Rep Pham K, Senator Dembrow, Rep Gamba

Public & Green Banking: SB501 Bank of the state of Oregon

Sen Golden. HB2763 Create a State public bank Task Force,

Rep Gamba, Sen Golden, Rep Walters

OPUC Oregon Public Utility Commission - CE Team Volunteer

By Claudia Keith

OPUC held a special informational meeting Jan 10 to update commissioners on measures to ensure the resource adequacy (RA) of the regional electrical grid. This meeting served as a technical conference for OPUC commissioners on the status of resource adequacy (RA) in the western U.S. Major players made "inside baseball" presentations summarized in the attached notes. Pursuant to docket UM 2143, OPUC staff recommended that the commission develop rules to establish a binding Oregon RA program for regulated utilities and electric service suppliers. Staff is targeting March 2023to begin rulemaking, following public comment. 

Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) forecast

WECC presented its latest forecast of the regional grid reliability and security risks. Interconnection-wide, the risk is expected to grow in frequency and magnitude over the next 10 years, largely because resource variability will increase, except in the OR-WA-ID subregion where the resource mix will remain relatively stable. The rate of planned resource growth is comparable to historical resource growth, but challenges such as supply chain disruption, skilled labor shortages, and siting issues could increase risk. Reliance on imports will grow in many cases and could be put at risk by transmission capability. WECC emphasized the need for immediate action to address long-term RA risks.

Northwest Power and Conservation Council (NWPCC) forecast 

NWPCC’s annual RA assessment looks ahead 5 years aiming to provide early warning of resource shortfalls and to ensure that resource strategies will result in adequate future power supplies. The latest assessment found that the 2027 regional power supply would be greatly inadequate if the region relied solely on existing resources and reserve levels with no new energy efficiency measures. NWPCC’s strategy for increasing resources and reserves would ensure an adequate power supply if demand growth remains consistent. 

Western Resource Adequacy Program (WRAP) update

All Oregon-regulated investor-owned utilities and many electric service suppliers take part in the Western Power Pool’s WRAP, the first region-wide RA program. This overview described the WRAP participation agreement and delivery commitments. WRAP filed its initial tariff with FERC at the end of August 2022, received a deficiency letter from FERC in November, filed an amended tariff in December, and expects FERC’s response next month. 

UM 2143 investigation update and straw proposal for state RA standards

OPUC staff recommends that the commission develop rules to establish a binding RA program for all Oregon entities. This presentation summarized key elements of the straw rules proposal released in September, with themes from public comments and the October 2022 stakeholder workshop. Next steps:

  • Jan. 2023: Draft formal rule language and distribute to stakeholders in the UM 2143 docket

  • Feb. 2023: Open comment period to react to staff’s rules; hold workshop(s) on draft rule language

  • March 2023: Open another comment period for stakeholders after workshops and any updated proposed rule language; move to formal rulemaking

Oregon Economic Analysis

By Claudia Keith

The next Oregon Economic and Revenue Forecast is scheduled for mid-Feb. It is unclear how the very volatile security markets (see global instability, inflation and FED) issues / risk will develop. 

Climate Emergency Financial Risk: The Oregon Office of Economic Analysis has never conformed to what is now recommended in the SEC Climate Risk disclosure rule. In 2022, the SEC (Federal Securities and Exchange Commission) recommended that all public and private entities that sell securities be required to use the ESG reporting tool. This proposed SEC rule may take effect in 2023. See supportive LWVOR-initiated LWVUS Testimony,  June 2022.  Related: ‘ESG Watch: Why this year could be a watershed moment for investors on nature-related risk | Reuters. The Status of Two Pending Rules That Would Require Disclosure of Climate Risks| Environmental Leader. 

Oregon Treasurer Tobias Read has changed his Fossil Fuel risk perspective. Oregon Treasurer Pledges to Decarbonize State Pension Fund By 2050. Tobias Read says he’ll have a comprehensive plan to meet Paris Agreement goals by early 2024.

Oregon Climate Related Lawsuits

By Claudia Keith

Be reminded there are numerous lawsuits challenging Oregon’s DEQ CPP regulations. Here is one example of how to track them. Basically, there are a number of active state and federal lawsuits, (Jan 2023) some which could assist in meeting Oregon's Net Zero GHG Emissions before 2050 targets and other lawsuits which challenge current Oregon DEQ CPP policy which would limit the use of fossil fuels, including diesel, natural gas, and propane over time.Climate Change Cases Set for Another ‘Exciting Year’ in Court’| Dec 27 2022 , Bloomberg Law. 

State, Regional and National News

  By Claudia Keith

Merkley, Wyden Secure Funding For Critical Projects Across Oregon 12/22/22 , Merkley, Hyde-Smith Announce The Establishment Of The CDC Office Of Rural Health.

Oregon faces sustained and novel risks and opportunities as climate changes, new assessment shows | Oregon State University, Legislature needs to follow energy-efficient building recommendations – Oregon Capital Chronicle. Biden officials lay out road map for net-zero transportation by 2050 | The Hill

EPA Urges Groups to Apply for Record Environmental Equity Grants, EPA Creates New Environmental Justice Office | The Regulatory Review, Oregon State University scientist praises fusion breakthrough, calls it the 'holy grail of energy', KOIN. Oregon Bill Requires Data Centers, Crypto Miners to Match Energy Goals| Governing. Why transforming the grid is critical to Oregon’s clean-energy future – OPB. The ‘unprecedented’ risks facing our power grid this winter should be a wake-up call for government | Utility Dive. Financial Firms May Have to Reveal Their Climate Risk - Scientific American

Global: Global energy crisis – the key news stories in January 2023 | World Economic Forum The US is to become the world’s top LNG exporter - and other stories about the global energy crisis this week. 6 things to know about international trade in January 2023 | World Economic Forum. Mass Climate Migration Is Coming | WIRED

Local League Climate Updates

By Claudia Keith

The Corvallis League provided public testimony (Dec 19), on the City of Corvallis new NW Natural Gas Franchise Agreement, supporting reducing contract terms from 10 to 3 years. ‘NW Natural Gas has decided to sign off on a 3 year extension of its existing franchise agreement.

Corvallis is now similar to many Oregon cities (Eugene, Clackamas, and now Gresham ) that have let the agreement with NW Natural Gas expire/lapse or have a 3-year agreement that refers to no or limited NG expansion. In addition, Corvallis and other cities are working on implementing a mandatory HOME ENERGY Score required at time of sale. The League has recently been very clear about methane in particular.

Volunteers Needed 

By Claudia Keith

Please consider joining the CE portfolio team; we lack volunteers in these critical policy areas:

Natural and Working lands, specifically Agriculture/ODA

ODOT Transportation & DLCD/LCD Climate Friendly and Equitable Communities 

Efficient Resilient Buildings

Public Health Climate Adaptation

Regional Solutions / Infrastructure (with NR team)

State Procurement Practices (DAS: Dept. of Admin. Services) 

CE Portfolio State Agency and Commission Budgets

Oregon Treasury: ESG investing/Fossil Fuel divestment

Climate and Environmental Justice.

We all collaborate with Natural Resource Action members on many Climate Change mitigation and adaptation policy topics. Volunteers are needed: The 2023 legislative session begins Jan 17. If any area of Climate Emergency interests you, please contact Claudia Keith, CE Coordinator. Orientation to Legislative and State Agency advocacy processes is available.

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