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Climate Emergency

Legislative Report - Sine Die

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Climate Emergency


By Claudia Keith, Climate Emergency Coordinator and team


2023 Highlights

Hottest July ever signals ‘era of global boiling has arrived’ says UN chief | UN News

The League worked independently and as a partner with multiple coalitions, contributing to a very productive historical 2023 Legislative session. This session’s historical dynamics included a Republican walkout, an increase of ~$2B in available funding and high federal funding opportunities. (see revenue LR). The session ended a few days early, with all six Climate and Energy priority policy and related funding bills passing in June, bills signed or vetoed by Governor Kotek.

 “Climate Resilience Package Investment (HB 3409, HB 3630): Invests $90 million in community-focused and forward-looking solutions to increase our energy efficiency, keep Oregonians safe from extreme weather, maximizing federal funding opportunities, and build a more resilient, sustainable, and equitable energy system.” The League supported and in some cases provided testimony on many of the following bills.

From Rep. Tawna Sanchez’s 6/26/23 newsletter: “Finally, I voted to pass HB 3409 and HB 3630, which together invest $100 million to bring in over $1 billion in federal matching funds to address the rapidly worsening impacts of climate change in Oregon.” “$90 million Climate Budget Framework Invests in Sustainable, Resilient Future for Oregon. Investments to lower utility costs, reduce building emissions, empower landowners to participate in the green economy, incentivize carbon sequestration, and improve disaster resilience.”

HB 3409 A Climate Budget Package

By Claudia Keith

Passed along party lines $61.7M Fiscal.


Resilient, Efficient Buildings Policy Package (SB 868, 869, 870, 871) - Leverages federal

funding to improve efficiency of homes and buildings; supports healthy, affordable, resilient

communities and family-wage job creation across Oregon. League Testimony, sign-on coalition letter and action alert.

Community Resilience Hubs (HB 2990) - Funds community resilience hubs and networks

across the state to coordinate and provide access to resources and services for vulnerable

populations during disasters.


Natural Climate Solutions (SB 530) - Supports cost-sharing to leverage tens of millions in

federal investments for Oregon forestland owners, farmers, and ranchers to implement

climate-smart land management practices, increasing carbon sequestration and improving the

resilience of Oregon communities and natural resource economies. League Testimony, Action Alert, and coalition letter.


Oregon Climate Council Modernization (SB 522) - Provides long-overdue staffing and

representation on the Oregon Global Warming Commission. League Testimony.

Medium and Heavy Duty Electric Vehicle Rebate Program (HB 2714) - Creates a DEQ

program that can compete for $1 billion in federal IRA funding for medium- and heavy-duty zero emission vehicle rebates.


Trees Restoring Economic and Environmental Stability Act (HB 3016) - Creates a

Community Green Infrastructure Grant Program at DLCD to fund communities to develop

projects that increase tree canopy, improve livability, and support water quality and



Siting Renewable Energy (HB 3181) - Directs DLCD in coordination with ODOE to find

opportunities and minimize conflicts on siting of solar projects in Oregon through engaging

stakeholders in a rulemaking advisory committee process.


Climate Protection Program Fee Bill (HB 3196) - Supports DEQ oversight and accountability

of Oregon’s cornerstone Climate Protection Program to ensure the Community Climate

Investment program achieves its intended climate pollution reduction goals and benefits for

communities of color, rural, low-income, Tribal, and other communities across the state. League Testimony.

Harmful Algal Blooms (HB 2647) - Protects Oregonians from harmful algal blooms in drinking

water, which are likely to occur more often due to shifting precipitation patterns from climate

change. (see Natural Resources LR)


Woody Biomass for Low-Carbon Fuels (HB 3590) - Directs College of Forestry at Oregon

State University to research development of fuel pathways for low carbon fuels derived from

woody biomass residues from forestry operations.


HB 3630 A Energy Budget Package


By Claudia Keith


State Energy Strategy (HB 2534) - Directs ODOE to develop a comprehensive state energy

strategy that identifies optimized pathways to achieving the state’s energy policies.


County Energy Resilience Planning (HB 3378) - Supports counties’ development of energy

resilience planning and integration into wildfire mitigation plans.


Resilient, Efficient Buildings - ODOE One-Stop-Shop (HB 3166) - Leverages federal funding

to improve efficiency of homes and buildings; supports healthy, affordable, resilient communities and family-wage job creation across Oregon.


Environmental Justice and Tribal Navigator (SB 852) - Establishes a program within ODOE

to provide information about state and federal funding opportunities and other technical

assistance to rural, Tribal, and other environmental justice communities as they work to develop energy projects or build energy-related capacity.


Solar + Storage Rebate Program Extension (HB 3418) - Extends sunset on solar and storage

project rebates for residential customers and low-income service providers, extending the

program through January 2029, enabling the program to potentially receive and distribute tens

of millions in federal funding from EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. These rebates

facilitate low- and moderate-income Oregonians to save on electric bills and retain power during outages.


Residential Heat Pump Program Extension (HB 3056) - Supports implementation of ODOE’s

Residential and Community Heat Pump Deployment Programs established by the 2021

legislature to bring much-needed heat relief to Oregon communities.


Community Renewable Energy Grant Program - Provides funding for ODOE’s Community

Renewable Energy Grant Program, established by the legislature in 2021, to support planning

and developing community renewable energy and energy resilience projects.


CE insights from Senator Dembrow recent newsletter:

-The benefit of these package bills was that we could pass sections of the package that we would not have been able to as a stand alone bill. Although they were done related to the walkout, this may become part of future legislation.

-He's planning on bringing back the GHG targets that didn't pass in 2023--in 2024.

-He expects the state public bank to return in 2024. With conversation w/Gov about, if not Biz OR, what agency should run the Task Force.

-2025 will be the year of transportation...another BIG package. Including gas tax replacement, final on I-5 Bridge, multimodal projects/funding. Look at HB 2017 (2017) for guidance.

The League is disappointed. At this time Oregon will not be added to this EDF (Environmental Defense Fund) list of U.S. states that have meaningful binding economy-wide climate target statutes. We are hopeful the Governor, the new Climate Action Commission, and legislative leadership will address this issue in 2024.

Clean Energy and Resilient Buildings

By Arlene Sherrett and Greg Martin

HB 3409 and HB 3630, climate and energy omnibus bills supported by the League, won final passage at the last minute after a hard-fought effort to get absent legislators executing an orchestrated walkout, back to the Senate floor. Each bill aggregated climate bills waiting in committee for the walkout to end. See highlights of some bills of the two omnibus bills.

Resilient, Efficient Buildings Policy Package —(SB 868, 869, 870, 871) - These bills leverage federal funding to improve energy efficiency of homes and buildings and support healthy, affordable, resilient communities and family-wage job creation across Oregon. The bills reduce emissions by reducing energy consumption, thus making the most of energy efficiency.

SB 868, Healthy Heating and Cooling for All, paves the way for state and federal funding to provide heat pumps to Oregonians. SB 869, Build Smart from the Start, aligns building codes with state climate targets. SB 870, Building Performance Standards, formulates a program to transition buildings off fossil fuels. SB 871, Smart State Buildings, clears the way for all state buildings, whether owned or leased, to be retrofitted for energy efficiency.

Oregon Climate Council Modernization (SB 522) provides long-overdue staffing and representation on the Oregon Global Warming Commission, changing the name to Oregon Climate Action Commission. However, the omnibus package removed a provision updating Oregon’s GHG emissions reduction targets.

HB 3056 extends the residential heat pump fund created by SB 1536 (2022), part of a cooling package in response to the Oregon 2021 heat dome event. League Testimony.

HB 3166 establishes the whole-home energy savings program (HOMES) and the high-efficiency electric home rebate program (HEEHR.) Both are based on federal energy residential buildings efficiency programs. A widely celebrated bill feature is a one-stop information and technical assistance center for those wanting to make their home more energy efficient. League Testimony.

Environmental Justice

By Claudia Keith

The League joined the Worker Advocate Coalition Follow-Up. SB 907 ‘Right to refuse dangerous work’ Testimony.

Other CE Bills we worked on

By Claudia Keith, Arlene Sherrett and Greg Martin

HB 2763 Enrolled passed in June and moved to the governor; creates a State Public Bank Task Force, League Testimony. Like the 2022 session RB task force, a 19-member Task Force is required to recommend no later than September 2024. “The report must include a recommendation for a governing structure for a public bank.” The Governor vetoed this bill; see the Governor's letter explaining her decision. Read our response. Senator Dembow expects legislation for the state public bank to return in 2024, with conversation w/Gov about, if not Biz OR, and what agency should run the Task Force.

HB 3179 Enrolled, Renewable Energy Permitting Process, passed, Governor signed 7/18. On June 23 the House concurred with a Senate amendment to the A-Engrossed bill. To issue a land use permit for a larger solar power facility as authorized by the bill, the county must require the applicant to provide a decommissioning plan, bonded or otherwise secured, to restore the site to a "useful, nonhazardous condition."

The Senate on June 23 passed HB 3550 by a vote of 18-6-6. The bill requires a state agency that buys or leases a light-duty vehicle on or after 1/1/2025 to buy only a ZEV unless the agency finds that a ZEV is not feasible for the specified use, in which case the vehicle bought or leased must be able to operate with an environmentally acceptable alternate fuel or as a low-emission vehicle. To the maximum extent economically feasible, DAS must use biofuels or biofuel-derived electricity instead of diesel for facilities or machinery the department acquires, designs, builds, completes, maintains, or operates as stationary or backup generation for heat and power systems. The bill was not amended, passed and signed by Gov Kotek 7/31.

State Agency and other Budget Bills

SB 5018 DEQ Budget Bill League testimony

SB 5016 ODOE Budget Bill League Testimony

End of Session Full JWM Budget Reconciliation (Xmas Tree ) Bill, SB 5506

A list of Climate related line items in SB 5506:

 - Oregon Worker Relief Climate Change Fund $1M Section 309

 - OSU Climate Services. $250K Section 64 HECC

- DLCD Climate Friendly. & Equitable Community $3.0 M Section 148 and 149

- DOE Hydrogen Hub, cooling study, and energy development position $951.6K. sect: 176

- DOE Staff to support administration of new energy programs $513K sect: 177

- Renewable and Solar $60M (sections 172 - 175)

- City of Milwaukee $375K solar project

- Streetcar System - Salem. $250K (Cherriots -Study the feasibility of developing a rail streetcar system in the City of Salem) vetoed by the Governor on Aug 4

Climate related Education bills in the Education LR : SB 854, stated that each of our 197 school districts could develop a plan for teaching climate change, across all subject areas, in grades K-12 by June 1, 2026; died in Senate ED.

HB 2601 requires State Treasurer to exit from certain carbon-intensive investments, subject to fiduciary duties, develop a plan to protect state investments from risks related to climate, League Testimony. The bill ended the session in the Emergency Management, General Government, and Veterans Committees.

Other Related Climate News

Americans’ views of climate change in 8 charts | Pew Research Center, Most Americans Disapprove of Biden’s Handling of Climate Change, Poll Shows - Inside Climate News, Climate politics has entered a new phase | Financial Times, Ocean currents vital for distributing heat could collapse by midcentury, study says | AP News, Clean energy can fuel the future — and make the world healthier | Nature, Industry Plaintiffs Drop Lawsuit Challenging Washington State’s Climate-Friendly Building Codes – Earthjustice, It’s time for buildings to stop using a third of U.S. Energy, Washington and Oregon say - The Columbian, Oregon Counties Take on Heat Mapping to Keep Residents Safe |, Work on an OSU-led wave energy test facility will be visible from shore – OPB, Climate Change | Brookings

Climate County, State and Federal Lawsuits

Biden is campaigning as the most pro-climate president while his DOJ works to block a landmark climate trial | CNN Politics

Aug 2023 Updates to the Climate Case Chart | Sabin Center for Climate Change Law Columbia University

Hawaii's youth-led climate change lawsuit  is going to trial next summer | Grist

Why Multnomah County's lawsuit over heat dome is different |

Oregon Treasury, Office of Economic Analysis, ESG investing and SEC Climate Risk Disclosure

Oregon Pension Fund Takes More Risk Than It Discloses, Financial Sleuth Tells New York Times| Willamette Week

Private equity investments, climate change and fossil-free portfolios | IEEFA | Climate-Related Disclosures/ESG Investing July 2023 | Remarks before the Financial Stability Oversight Council: Climate Risk Disclosure 7/28/23

Oregon Revised Statutes (2017) Chapter 750, Section 163 authorizes the Office of Economic Analysis (OEA), with substantial assistance from the Department of Environmental Quality, to assess the availability of fossil and alternative fuels to Oregon. OEA 2023 Fuels Forecast (Clean and Dirty), Sustainability: Energy is the fundamental systemic risk | top1000funds,

Opportunity to follow policy topics or if you prefer just follow and testify on one bill.

Volunteers Needed

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

· Natural and Working lands, specifically Agriculture/ODA

· Transportation and ODOT state agency

· Climate Related Lawsuits/Our Children’s Trust

· Public Health Climate Adaptation (OHA)

· 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

We collaborate with Natural Resource Action members on many Climate Change mitigation and adaptation policy topics. Volunteers are needed: Orientation to Legislative and State Agency advocacy processes is available.

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