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Climate Emergency

Legislative Report - Week of 2/20

Climate Emergency Priorities

Other CE Bills

Clean Energy

Oregon Economic Analysis 

Oregon Treasury

Climate Related Lawsuits: Oregon and…

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. The League provided supportive testimony. Read Oregon Chapter American Planning Association testimony. Sen Dembrow and OGWC Chair MacDonald testified. Here are the meeting materials. There is IRA federal funding for climate-smart agriculture.


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. Chief sponsors are Senator LIEBER, Representative MARSH.


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 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. League Testimony. 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 ODOT (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. It’s unclear at this time if any Climate related new programs will be funded and many are related to Federal IRA matching funds. Read the 2/22 Oregon Economic and Revenue Forecast committee meeting materials; a moderate recession is still forecast, starting in 2024. The next forecast will be mid-May.


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;


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


SB 522 Oregon Global Warming Commission


SB 522 changes the name of "Oregon Global Warming Commission" to "Oregon Climate Action Commission." It modifies membership and duties of commission and the state greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals. It directs the state agencies to report to the commission on progress toward achieving greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals The League provided both written and verbal Testimony.


Clean Buildings


By Arlene Sherrett


Two bills will be up for hearings in the House Climate, Energy and Environment Committee this week. Both HB 3166 and HB 3056 are energy efficiency bills. HB 3166 creates a whole-home energy savings program under the Housing and Community Service Department to give rebates to homeowners and landlords for installing various electric energy high-efficiency devices. Currently the bill is for electric upgrades only, but the propane industry is asking for the bill to be amended to include all high-efficiency options. HB 3056 extends funding from an earlier bill SB 1536 (2022) for a heat pump grant and rebate program. Fifty percent of funding is earmarked for low and moderate income households. The new funding end date will be January 2, 2026.


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. RB campaign guiding principles. SB 868, 869, 870 and 871 were posted 2/9. They seem to be placeholders, and nothing new has been added since last week. 


House CE&E Committee Updates

By Greg Martin


Feb 20 2023 Committee Meetings

House C&E moved its first bill of the session to the floor with a do-pass recommendation: HB 3161, a "cleanup" bill for PUC, voted unanimously and without discussion. Chair Marsh said the committee may designate the next such bill, HB 3160, for the consent agenda. 

Heard oral testimony on HB 2215, the pro-nuclear bill. I counted 15 opponents and no supporters. A witness from NCSL said four states have repealed their restrictions on nuclear development since 2016. Opponents argued that SMR development is not really "carbon free," that supporters have not addressed the waste issue, much less resolved it, and that the risk to the state of making the wrong economic decision could be catastrophic in terms of stranded costs.

HB 2700 would extend zero-emission and electric vehicle rebates to electric tractors and repowered tractors. Proponents including Rep. Neron said more farm vehicles need to go electric for the state to meet its carbon reduction goals, and incentives are needed to bring change, with some sideboards to ensure it doesn't just benefit "boutique" farmers. One rural supporter reported a favorable experience with a 25-hp electric tractor her family bought for $34K. The committee's rural members seemed favorable but noted that electric versions of "real tractors" (75+ hp) can cost over $100K so the bill's rebate of up to $2,500 per tractor would not offer much incentive. 


Feb 13 2023

HB 2396-1 (directs EQC to establish and implement an indirect source review program): The committee heard testimony on the -1 which seemed to have been posted too recently for some members' review; Rep. Owens demanded more time to study technical details with input from air quality experts. 


Proponents (Reps. Dexter, Tranh et al.) noted EQC already has authority to regulate indirect sources; the bill would require EQC to do so per specified definitions and methodology. Portland area supporters stressed the disproportionate impact of diesel emissions on BIPOC communities. Rep. Osborne challenged this, asking where they got their supporting data about race. He wondered whether the bill isn’t targeting “low-lying fruit” and won’t do much to address major pollution sources. OBI and other opponents predicted lengthy litigation, saying the bill would set state standards for mobile source emissions preempting EPA standards, contrary to federal law. Committee members wondered whether LC had considered this in drafting the amendment. Opponents also noted that EQC unanimously rejected this rulemaking in 2020. Seems like this bill will face a long hard pull.


HB 3158 (Clean Diesel Engine Taxes): Rep. Nosse noted that diesel equipment retrofit rules are on the books, and said user taxes in this bill will raise sustained revenue to enable equipment users to comply. He said funds from the VW settlement must be spent quickly and anyway aren't sufficient to address the problem. Rep. Boshart Davis opposed, saying diesel replacement is happening “organically” and we don’t need new taxes to incentivize it. Chair Marsh halted the parade of pro and con witnesses at 4:30 with many more waiting to testify, and carried over the hearing to a future date to be announced. She also postponed the hearing on HB 3003 (tax credits for utilities that buy electricity generated from western juniper biomass).



ODOT Seeks Input on the NEVI Program

By Greg Martin


More EV fast chargers are coming to Oregon, by way of $65 million in funding through the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program, created by the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. ODOT will partner with private contractors to install at least 65 public fast charging stations along Oregon’s major highways and interstates over the next five years, beginning with I-205, I-5 south of Eugene, and U.S. 97 in 2023-24. ODOT is hosting community meetings to gather public input and answer questions about the program. Meetings began in Portland and Oregon City on Feb. 21 and will continue through March 1 in Cottage Grove, Canyonville, Medford, LaPine, Klamath Falls, Moro, and Madras.


The new charging stations will be sited about every 50 miles and will feature four 150 kw/hour chargers per station. Per the Justice40 initiative, 40 percent of NEVI program benefits must go to disadvantaged communities. ODOT is finalizing its contracting standards with the goal of releasing the RFP this summer and awarding contracts this fall. Site design and construction of the Phase 1 stations will begin in 2024.


ODOT wants to hear what is important to you when thinking about EV fast charging locations along the Phase 1 corridors. Visit ODOT’s “Online Open House” through March 3 to learn more about NEVI and take a survey associated with the interstate or highway that is most relevant to you.



Oregon Economic Analysis 

By Claudia Keith


The Oregon Economic and Revenue Forecast was released Feb 22. The Oregon Office of Economic Analysis has continued to ignore the recommended SEC Climate Risk disclosure rule. SEC Plans to Finalize | Reuters. Republicans seek records on SEC climate disclosure proposal| CNBC. Preparing for climate disclosure in the largest capital market | Greenbiz. Republicans demand answers from SEC over climate disclosure proposal | Pensions & Investments


See supportive SEC disclosure 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. Related News: EPA climate fund may not be a green bank after all - E&E News.


Oregon Bond rating continues to be above average.


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. Senate poised to revive probe of Big Oil climate claims - E&E News. ESG Litigation Heats Up in Marketing, Climate Pollution, and DEI | Bloomberg Law. 


Oregon and PNW News:


Advocates for Fossil Fuel Divestment Push Treasury for Changes | Willamette Weekly. Oregon lawmakers, environmentalists want state pension fund divested of fossil fuels | Jefferson Public Radio. Feedback loops make climate action even more urgent, scientists say – ScienceDaily/OSU. 27 feedback loops could accelerate climate crisis, warn scientists | Env Journal. US Pokes The Sleeping Giant Of Wave Energy - CLEAN POWER US Pokes The Sleeping Giant Of Ocean Wave Energy - US banks on new PacWave South test site to nail down a piece of the global wave energy industry pie.| Clean Technica. Opponents of Eugene's natural gas ban want it on 2023 ballot|. Eugene Register Guard. Oregon lawmakers propose $200M housing and homelessness package | ERG. Northwest climate activists fight a new front in the movement to stop fossil fuels | Waging Nonviolence. Arizona, Utah lawmakers look to hamper clean energy development | Energy News Network. An All-Canadian EV, Solar Misinformation, Fossil Gag Order, Putin Losing His Energy War, and a Warm Ottawa Winter Shuts the World’s Longest Skateway|TheEnergyMix.


National & Global


Biden Weaves Climate Into Economy and Regulations With Two Key Picks - The New York Times. Geoengineering for Climate Change Is Big, Ambitious, and Needs Shared Rules| Foreign Policy. America's coastal cities are a hidden time bomb - The Atlantic. How misinformation about solar power hinders the fight against climate change : NPR. Biden gets a chance to redefine the World Bank role – POLITICO. Republicans in the US ‘battery belt’ embrace Biden’s climate spending | Renewable energy | The Guardian


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


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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