Natural and Working Lands ACTION ALERT
SB 530 is expected to have a first hearing week, Feb 6 in Senate Natural Resources. Senator Dembrow, Representative Marsh, Senator Golden and Representative Neron are chief sponsors. The bill is based on the Global Warming Commission’s 2021 Climate Change and Carbon Proposal and last year’s SB 1534A which the League also supported.
Climate Emergency Priorities
The League has identified six priority CE policy and budget topics. Find in previous LR reports additional background on each priority. Following are updates on those topics:
1. Natural and Working Lands: Establishes Natural and Working Lands (NWL) 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. The bill authorizes natural resource agencies to provide support to forest landowners, ranchers and farmers for voluntary techniques that not only increase carbon uptake and storage but provide secondary benefits of reduced water needs, increased output and overall improved water quality and quantity. It is designed to help leverage federal funding and private investments in natural climate solutions on natural and working lands. Assigned to: Senate Natural Resources, find Committee Bills HERE. The League continues to be an active NWL coalition partner.
2. Resilient Buildings (RB) : Refer to the Legislative Joint Task Force on Resilient Efficient Buildings Dec 13 Report. It’s likely the bill(s) will be posted to OLIS in late Feb. by Senator Lieber and Rep Marsh. The League is an active RB coalition partner. On Jan 27, over 75 folks joined an RB kickoff meeting. The BR campaign guiding principals were shared. In the news: ‘Oregon lawmakers draft bills for more energy-efficient buildings ‘| kgw.com
3. Environmental Justice (EJ): 2023 Leg bills are posted which address (support or oppose) new or on-going EJ topics. Find DEQ EJ work : Performance Partnership Agreement : Oregon Department of Environmental Qualityand U.S. EPA Region 10 Performance Partnership Agreement. In the news: ‘Farmworker advocate legislative priorities include language access’ | Statesman Journal. The League is following this topic and likely will support.
4. 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. Find more about this Bill in Clean Energy LR below.
5. 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 bills.
6. CE related total 2023-2025 biennium budget: The governor’s budget* was published Jan 31. Kotek’s budget priorities are HERE. One of the main funding problems concerns how the favorable ending current period balance, estimated to be >$765M, can be used. It will take a 3/5 vote to pass this proposed change. ‘Kotek proposes spending $765M from reserves on homeless, other crises’| statesman journal.
It’s unclear at this point if the estimated > $80M 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.) is reflected in Governor Kotek’s new 1/31 Budget. More specifics next week.
It is expected some portion of the agency funding requests are related to addressing multiple federal grant opportunities. (see Congressional major new funding since 2020: IIJA, IRA, Chips and what’s left in the ARPA and Dec 2022 Omnibus compromise)
Other CE Bills
By Claudia Keith
The League may support or just follow these bills. (This is a preliminary list; a number of bills are not yet posted to OLIS.)
Natural Working Lands: See 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.
Fossil Fuel (FF) Divestment: HB 2601 Oregon FF Divestment … Requires State Treasurer to address the urgency and risk associated with Fossil Fuel 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.
Interstate 5 Bridge Legislation: Interstate Bridge Replacement Program (IBRP) factsheet ODOT and WDOT. 12 Things the Oregon Legislature Should Know About IBRP - Just Crossing Alliance. It is likely policy and or just funding bills will be heard and likely moved by this IBRP Legislative Joint Committee. The goal: ‘Replacing the aging Interstate Bridge with a modern, earthquake resilient, multimodal structure is a high priority for Oregon and Washington…. ‘
By Kathy Moyd
Activity Last Week and Next Week
LWVOR did not provide testimony for any Clean Energy bills last week.
HB 2816 High Energy User Facilities
Requires person who owns, operates or controls high energy use facility to ensure that greenhouse gas emissions associated with electricity used by high energy use facility are reduced to 60% below baseline emissions levels by 2027, 80% below baseline emissions levels by 2030, 90% below baseline emissions levels by 2035 and 100% below baseline emissions levels by 2040. Imposes civil penalty of $12,000 per megawatt-hour in violation for each day of violation. Excludes property that is or is part of high energy use facility from enterprise zone tax benefits unless amount of greenhouse gas emissions associated with electricity that high energy use facility uses complies with amount of greenhouse gas emissions associated with electricity permitted for high energy use facilities.
LWVOR was in the process of writing testimony for the public hearing scheduled for February 1 but received notice that the bill had been removed from the schedule. We had a lot of concerns with the bill, so will wait to see if an amendment is submitted.
No Clean Energy bills are currently scheduled for public hearings next week, may be later.
Previously listed Priority Bills, Committee Bills, and Other Bills with no action last week or expected next week were described in the Legislative Report Week of 1-23.
Additional Bills Being Followed
By Kathy Moyd
HB 2713 Local Regulation of Fossil Fuels
Provides that Legislative Assembly finds and declares that home rule cities and counties have constitutional authority to prohibit or limit use of fossil fuels in new buildings or installation of fossil fuel infrastructure. Permits cities and counties, whether home rule or not, to prohibit or limit use of fossil fuels in new buildings or installation of fossil fuel infrastructure. Declares emergency, effective on passage.
We are considering supporting these bills and expect public hearings in the near future.
HB 2571 Rebates for Electric Bikes
Establish program for providing rebates to qualifying individuals who purchase electric assisted bicycles or cargo electric bicycles and qualifying equipment. Appropriation of $5,000,000.
HB 2718 Hydrogen-fueled Generators (Bipartisan sponsors)
Program to provide grants to fund replacement of generators that use diesel or fossil fuels with renewable hydrogen-fueled generators. Appropriation of $5,000,000.
HB 3016 Community Green Infrastructure Grant Program
Establishes Community Green Infrastructure Grant Program and Fund. Directs State Forestry Department to acquire and maintain urban tree canopy assessment tool. Directs department to develop emerald ash borer assistance program.
HB 3020 Commercial Community Solar Projects (Bipartisan support)
Extends property tax exemption to commercial community solar projects first granted exemption for property tax year beginning on or after July 1, 2023.
Oregon Economic Analysis
By Claudia Keith
The next Oregon Economic and Revenue Forecast is scheduled for Feb 22. It is unclear how the very volatile security market, banking issues / risk will develop. The last State of Oregon quarterly forecast assumed a likely mild recession in 2023.
See supportive LWVOR-initiated LWVUS Testimony, June 2022.
By Claudia Keith
It is unclear how Oregon Treasury / Treasurer Tobias will assist with addressing the $20B Federal IRA funds which are contingent on formation of an Oregon Green Bank. ‘'Green Banks,' Poised for Billions in Climate Funds, Draw States' Attention | The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Additionally, the SEC new Climate risk guidelines will affect investing and reporting decisions. The SEC reveals 2023 priorities in new agenda | Reuters. ‘Upcoming SEC climate disclosure rules bring urgency to ESG data strategy planning’, | Reuters. It's concerning to the League how these major issues will affect Oregon’s economy.
Climate Related Lawsuits: Oregon and…
By Claudia Keith
Numerous lawsuits are 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, (Feb 2023 update) some of 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. A national perspective: ‘These four states are winning on climate. And they're not all the ones you'd expect’ |EDF.
Our Children’s Trust: First hearing held in youth lawsuit against DOT over transportation pollution | News, Sports, Jobs - Maui News
State, Regional, National, and Global CE News
By Claudia Keith
Affordable, reliable and sustainable: Report compares utility performance – Oregon Capital Chronicle. (Oregon ranked in the top 10 on affordability, environmental friendliness, and performance). Oregon politician calls for increased oversight of NW Natural | kgw.com. Oregon pins hopes on mass timber to boost housing, jobs – OPB. OSU wave power testing facility overcomes many “firsts”. | KLCC. Native seeds, crucial to deal with climate change, are in short supply : NPR. New Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek’s first budget plan calls for big spending on housing, education and behavioral health – OPB
The SEC reveals 2023 priorities in new agenda | Reuters. Congress' 'biggest fight' over climate? It's the farm bill. - E&E News. The Most Famous Climate Goal Is Woefully Misunderstood - The Atlantic. With carbon capture on an industrial scale, Norway plans for a greener future - Microsoft News Centre Europe. Yes, we have enough materials to power the world with renewable energy | MIT Technology Review. Is climate change to blame for the extreme cold? Researchers say there could be a connection. - The Boston Globe
Local League Climate Updates
By Claudia Keith
Request to Local Leagues; please let us know your climate, resilience, or sustainability advocacy actions.
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
Climate and Environmental Justice.
We collaborate with Natural Resource Action members on many Climate Change mitigation and adaptation policy topics. Volunteers are needed: The 2023 legislative session began 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.