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Climate Emergency

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Legislative Report - Week of 2/13

Climate Emergency Priorities

Other CE Bills

Clean Energy

Oregon Economic Analysis 

Oregon Treasury

Climate Related Lawsuits: Oregon and…

Volunteers Needed 

Climate Emergency Priorities


By Claudia Keith


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 six topics: 


1. Natural and Working Lands: Establishes Natural and Working Lands (NWL) Fund, carbon sequestration opportunities…: Natural Climate Solutions SB 530. Public Hearing was 2/15/23 in SEN E&E. Josie Koehne is leading this effort. The League provided supportive testimony. Sen Dembrow and OGWC Chair MacDonald testified. Here are the meeting materials.


2. Resilient Buildings (RB): Refer to the adopted Legislative Joint Task Force on Resilient Efficient Buildings (REB) Dec 13 Report. The League is an active RB coalition partner. BR campaign guiding principles. SB 868, 869, 870 and 871 were posted 2/9. They seem to be placeholders, watch for amendments.


3. Environmental Justice (EJ): 2023 Leg bills. The League joined the Worker Advocate Coalition on 2/13 and SB 593 is one of a number of bills the League will follow and likely support. The ‘Right to Refuse‘ dangerous work bill LC has not been posted yet.


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.

SB 522 public hearing is Tuesday Feb 21 in Sen E&E. The League will provide supportive testimony. See OGWC Feb 3 Final Draft Roadmap Recommendations, the Roadmap Next Steps Commission Subcommittee’s final review of report is due February 21-24. The Roadmap is scheduled to be published and delivered to the Legislature by March 1. 


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. A main funding problem 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.



Other CE Bills - Supporting

By Claudia Keith


House Committee On Emergency Management, General Government, and Veterans Feb 16 2023 Hearing includes these climate related bills with League testimony.


HB 2601 Oregon FF Divestment: The League provided supportive testimony for Fossil Fuel (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.


HB 2763 Create a State public bank Task Force, Rep Gamba, Sen Golden, Rep Walters. The League provided testimony.


Other CE Bills – May Support

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. 


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.


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…. ‘.


Clean Energy 

By Kathy Moyd


Activity Last Week and Next Week. There were no Clean Energy bill Public Hearings during the period prior to 2/14.Two Clean Energy bills have public hearings between 2/14 and next week.


Oregon Economic Analysis 

By Claudia Keith


The next Oregon Economic and Revenue Forecast is scheduled for Feb 22. It is unclear how the congressional debt ceiling issue, security market volatility, inflation – Fed/banking issues and other global risks will develop. The last State of Oregon quarterly forecast assumed a likely mild recession in 2023. Oregon Bond rating continues to be above average.


The Oregon Office of Economic Analysis has never conformed to what is now recommended in the SEC Climate Risk disclosure rule. SEC Plans to Finalize 


See supportive LWVOR-initiated LWVUS Testimony, June 2022. 


Oregon Treasury


By Claudia Keith


It is unclear how Oregon Treasury / Treasurer Tobias will assist with addressing the $27B Federal funds, which are contingent on formation of an Oregon Green Bank. New York, California, and Connecticut Green Bank; some are a function of the State Treasury. EPA outlines $27B 'green bank' for clean energy projects | AP News. EPA giving out $27 billion in 'green bank' loans | Fortune.

Related News: Why your company may soon be hiring an 'ESG controller' | Fortune. SEC weighs making 'adjustments' to controversial climate risk disclosure rule, Chairman Gensler says| CNBS. Investors should not expect much relief from volatility | Financial Times. Rescuing ESG from the Culture Wars | HBR.


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.


Another source: Columbia University Law - Sabin Climate DB lists 60 lawsuits with OREGON mentioned. A Lawsuit Against Big Oil Gets Personal - The New York Times


Oregon and National News:


Oregon city's gas ban continues spread across the West | Energy News Network. Possible oil pipeline expansion on the table in Oregon | KTVL. Rogue Valley residents call for more input on Northwest pipeline expansion – OPB. Why officials in the Pacific Northwest are only now deciding how to regulate crypto mining – OPB. Alert! Tougher Reporting Mandates Ahead for Data Centers | Data Center Knowledge | News and analysis for the data center industry. Oregon State University researcher to help lead $25 million nuclear forensics project | Oregon State University. Tolls are coming to Portland-area freeways, and even tolling fans worry they’ll stack up - Interstate Bridge Design Could Change to Single Level | WW.


3 Alarming Threats To The U.S. Energy Grid – Cyber, Physical, And Existential Events| Forbes. Utility Explores Converting Coal Plants into Nuclear Power - Scientific American. FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Announces New Standards and Major Progress for a Made-in-America National Network of Electric Vehicle Chargers - The White House


Volunteers Needed 

By Claudia Keith


Request to Local Leagues; please let us know your climate, resilience, or sustainability advocacy actions. Please consider joining the CE portfolio team; we lack volunteers in these critical policy and law areas:


  • Natural and Working lands, specifically Agriculture/ODA

  • 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: 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.

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