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Climate Emergency

Legislative Report - Week of 2/19

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Climate Emergency Highlights

LWVOR is disappointed that SB 1559 is not advancing this session. It was designed to increase the target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions - setting a goal of 95% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels. See OPB: DEAD: Stronger greenhouse gas reduction goals

Budget Omnibus Bill -The following issues are currently being considered by the Joint Ways and Means Committee (J W&Ms): Healthy Homes, EV Rebate, Climate-Friendly Micro-mobility transport, and Environmental Justice-related Worker Relief funding Programs, all totaling $59 million. There is currently $7.5M in SB1530 for Healthy Homes. Funding for Environmental Justice refers to Oregon Worker Relief Funding $9M, related to lost wages when there are extensive heat and or air quality/smoke issues for agriculture outdoor workers.

See also the Natural Resources and Social Policy sections in this Legislative Report.


Other Climate Emergency Bills


League testimony posted, or we are following and may have testimony:


Off-Shore Wind: HB 4080, League Testimony, See discussion in NR Leg Report.


Clean Tech Leadership Bill HB 4112 Referred to J W&Ms. League Testimony. Funding is $20M.


Right to Repair: SB 1596 See discussion in NR Leg Report, League Testimony 


HB 4155 Infrastructure funding study - Rep Gamba and Sen Golden – in J W&Ms. Fiscal $250K. League Testimony is being considered.


HB 4083 Coal Act: Requires Oregon Investment Council and Treasury to divest from Thermal Coal investments. In Senate E&E with a 2/27 work session posted. We expect this bill to be voted in chamber, League Testimony.


HB 4102 Funding mechanism for Natural and Working Lands Fund (carbon sequestration). Almost unanimous Affirmative House vote, now in the Sen NRW. Zero Fiscal.

Natural Climate Solutions 

At the request of the Oregon Climate Action Committee, OCAC (formerly the Global Warming commission), SB1525 in HCEE, PH 2/26, work session 2/28. supports Oregon’s transition to clean energy. However, several of the dates in the 2023 legislations could not be met due to delayed funding and grant issues. The $10 million fund to carry out work promoting carbon sequestration on Oregon’s natural and working lands (OWEB, ODA, ODFW, ODF) needed to be moved out by a year. The OCAC overseeing implementation of the Natural and Working Lands bill felt more time was needed to complete three studies on Carbon Sequestration and Storage Inventory, Natural Climate Solutions Workforce, and its Carbon Sequestration Goal.


House and Senate Climate Notes 

By Claudia Keith


The House passed HB 4090 by a vote of 39-19. The bill would prohibit the Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC) from exercising jurisdiction over or requiring a site certificate for an energy facility that is a renewable energy facility or transmission line, which is sited wholly within federal lands and is subject to review under the National Environmental Policy Act. Several Reps opposed the carve-out allowing the EFSC to retain jurisdiction over nuclear power plants, saying we can’t achieve our “green” energy goals without nuclear power. Bill Chief Sponsor Rep. Gamba responded that the carve-out does not take nuclear off the table, but says the EFSC (which was created to address concerns about nuclear energy siting) must still be involved in the approval of such a project. 


The Senate passed SB 1596 A (Right to Repair) by a margin of 25-5 (Bonham, Hayden, Knopp, Linthicum, Robinson), League testimony. The House Business and Labor public hearing is 2/26.


House Committee for Energy & Environment

By Claudia Keith


The committee voted 7-3 to move HB 4112-4 to the House floor with prior reference to Joint W&M. The bill directs DAS to adopt rules to govern procurements from CE technology manufacturing companies that DAS conducts on behalf of state agencies; creates the Oregon Clean Energy Technology Manufacturing Opportunity Fund, from which OBDD is to develop a program to award grants and make low-interest loans to attract and support CE tech manufacturing companies and foster job creation; and directs the Governor to establish a 15-member Clean Energy Technology Leadership Advisory Council. 


Fiscal note calls for $20 million GF in 2023-25 to OBDD for deposit into the new Opportunity Fund plus two new full-time analysts; $107K Other Funds in 2023-25 to DAS for a permanent part-time analyst and expenses; and $179K to DAS in 2025-27.


During discussion, Rep. Owens said he would vote yes because CE technology can be an economic driver, but he is concerned about preferences for employers that agree to provide benefits for disadvantaged workers and businesses and to enter into community benefit agreements (project labor agreements or PLAs). He hopes in the future we can have more discussion about how this sort of program affects rural communities. Rep. Osborne objected to PLAs in principle saying they counteract good practice. 


Oregon DOT: Climate Reduction Program


Department of Environmental Quality: Action on Climate Change Home: Action on Climate Change: State of Oregon


Department of Environmental Quality: Climate Protection Program: (CPP) State of Oregon. January Press Release. The League is considering joining a CPP coalition 2/27 sign on letter. Add hyperlink.


Climate Emergency News

Short-Term Energy Outlook - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)


With limited resources, a small Oregon town plans for climate change – Oregon Capital Chronicle


One of Oregon’s smallest utilities is suddenly among the state’s biggest polluters. Why? Amazon data centers -


Chicago sues oil companies for impacts of climate change| Scientific America,(Chicago has joined several other cities and states in suing oil companies. The effort seeks to hold fossil fuel producers financially accountable for the effects of climate change)


How Kids Are Fighting Climate Change, One Lawsuit at a Time | Aspen Ideas


Exclusive: US regulator drops some emissions disclosure requirements from draft climate rules | Reuters


How Lawyers Hinder Climate-Related Risk Disclosure | The Regulatory Review



Climate Litigation and Congressional Climate Resolution

February 2024 Updates to the Climate Case Charts | Columbia University Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Oregon Cases – 73 as of Feb 2024


Congressional Children’s Fundamental Rights and Climate Recovery Resolution: LWVUS’ Lobby Corps is currently having targeted Hill meetings on the Children’s Fundamental Rights and Climate Recovery Resolution to continue bipartisan conversations about the climate crisis and resolution and maintain League visibility on this vital issue federally. LWVUS re-endorsed the resolution upon its reintroduction, and maintains a related Action Alert on the website so that folks can contact their Members of Congress



Climate Emergency Team and Volunteers Needed 


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

• Natural Climate Solutions, specifically Oregon Dept of 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

• Climate Migration

 Oregon Treasury: ESG investing/Fossil Fuel divestment


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


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