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Climate Emergency

Legislative Report - Week of 3/13

Climate Emergency Priorities

Other CE Bills

Clean Energy

Resilient Building

Equity and Environmental Justice

Interstate 5 Bridge Project

Oregon Economic Analysis 

Oregon Treasury

Climate Related Lawsuits: Oregon and…

Climate Emergency Priorities


By Claudia Keith, Climate Emergency Coordinator


The League has identified six priority CE policy and budget topics. Find in previous LR reports additional background on each priority. All these priority bills were likely to have work sessions scheduled by 3/17, the session First Chamber Policy Committee Deadline. Following are updates on those six topics: 


1. Natural and Working Lands: SB 530 LWVOR Alert:

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. The fiscal has not been posted.


2. Resilient Buildings (RB): LWVOR Alert: The League is an active RB coalition partner. BR campaign guiding principles. Informational Hearing was 3/14, PH is 3/16. Link to League testimonies: SB 868, 869, 870 and 871. The fiscals have not yet been posted.


3. Environmental Justice (EJ): 2023 Leg bills. The League joined the Worker Advocate Coalition on 2/13 and SB 593 is one of two bills the League will follow and support. The ‘Right to Refuse dangerous work’ SB 907, PH 3/16. SB 907 League Testimony. See below for more details.


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. PH was 2/21, highlights: Sen Dembrow’s “ OGWC Modernization Presentation“ and American Planning Association testimony.


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. We provided testimony on the Oregon Dept. of Energy (ODOE) budget (HB 5016), requesting additional agency requests that were not included in the Governor’s budget.


Other CE Bills - Supporting

By Claudia Keith


HB 2763 Creates a State public bank Task Force, Chief sponsors: Rep Gamba, Sen Golden, Rep Walters. The League provided testimony. Work Session was scheduled for March 9 w -1 amendment. Partisan 4-3 vote moves the bill to JWM. HB 2087. Forest Products Harvest Tax League Testimony. See Keep Oregon Cool, Natural Working Lands. 



Other CE Bills – Following - May Support


By Claudia Keith


HB 3016 community green infrastructure, Rep Pham K, Senator Dembrow, Rep Gamba. Work Session 3/15



Clean Energy

By Kathy Moyd


HB 2530-1 Directs State Department of Energy to, where appropriate, seek and apply for federal funds, and support other applications for federal funds, to be used to support development and deployment of renewable hydrogen and green electrolytic hydrogen. Directs department to provide education and increase awareness regarding renewable hydrogen and green electrolytic hydrogen. Defines "renewable hydrogen" and "green electrolytic hydrogen." 

Passed the House Climate, Energy, and Environment Committee with a 6 -3 bipartisan vote.


HB 3196 Authorizes the Environmental Quality Commission to establish by rule fee to be paid by community climate investment entities (part of the Climate Protection Program). Establishes Community Climate Investment Oversight Account. The League provided verbal and written Testimony.


HB 2534-1 Requires the State Department of Energy to develop a comprehensive state energy strategy that identifies optimized pathways to achieving state's energy policy objectives. Requires department to engage with state agencies, federally recognized Indian tribes and stakeholders in developing state energy strategy. Permits the department to convene an advisory work group. Requires department to periodically update state energy strategy. Directs the department to produce a report regarding state energy strategy and submit a report to the Governor and appropriate interim committees of the Legislative Assembly no later than November 1, 2025.

Passed the House Climate, Energy, and Environment Committee with a unanimous vote.


Resilient Buildings


By Arlene Sherrett


We’re in the process of gathering support for the Resilient Buildings legislation hearings. Amended text was rolled out for SB 868-1, 869-1, and 870-1 (SB 871-1 still lags behind the others) this week and an informational hearing was held March 14, 2023. Members of the task force that worked on the foundation of the bill appeared to testify for it and other members attended in support. Committee members had questions about costs; one answer was that it is still unknown exactly how much federal money will be coming, but it is lots. Generally, support was expressed for passing the bills with one notable exception: Northwest Natural expressed some ongoing concerns with the bills but did not elaborate on what they were at the hearing. At this point nearly all written testimony supports the bills. 

Refer to the adopted Legislative Joint Task Force on Resilient Efficient Buildings (REB) Dec 13 Report for more background. Information from the Oregon Conservation Network on each bill is available at the Building Resilience website. Access to the task force mailing list is through Nora Apter at

HB 3166, a whole-home energy savings program offering rebates for installing various electric energy high-efficiency devices and establishing a one stop for much needed information on incentives and technical assistance, was heard and is now waiting for referral to W&Ms. This bill dovetails with SB 869-1 (above). The only amendment was language declaring an emergency.

HB 3056-3 extending funding for the heat pump grant and rebate program, was adopted by the House Climate, Energy and Environment Committee. The Fiscal Impact Statement shows a cost of $20.8M to be spent in the 2023-25 biennium.

HB 3152 -2 relates to residential gas utility ratepayers’ responsibility to pay or not pay for gas utility line extensions. The bill seeks to make sure that PUC regulations align with greenhouse gas emissions reduction requirements, do not delay timely implementation of greenhouse gas emissions reduction, and mitigate energy burden and risks of stranded assets for residential utility customers. A panel of speakers presented arguments for and against and over 50 pieces of written testimony came in, with approximately two thirds opposing. Two Public Hearings 3/1 and 3/13.


 CE Equity and Environmental Justice


 By Arlene Sherrett


SB 852 was up for a work session in the Senate Energy and Environment 3/7 and moved to JW&M. The bill directs the Department of Energy to establish a program especially for EJ communities to provide assistance with energy projects and activities. Fiscal $315K.


HB 3196 PH 3/8 includes special provisions for Environmental Justice Communities but may not be exclusively targeted to the needs of those communities. How to navigate the online legislative website: Start here: Citizen Engagement Home ( 

Just about everything you need to know is on this page: attend a virtual committee meeting, attend a meeting at the capitol, look up a bill, follow updates on bill progress or receive email news from a Legislator. And much more, with more topics to click on down the left-hand sid. 

Interstate 5 (I5) Bridge Project


By Liz Stewart and Arlene Sherrett


Still in the analytical stages of the project. Stakeholders have been identified and engaged in the process of understanding the need to replace the bridge and options for what could responsibly replace it, as well as financial, environmental, cultural and community costs and risks of the project to ensure we get the best solution possible in bridge replacement.


  • Washington state has committed to $1 billion for the project. The first appropriation is expected by July 2023. The remaining allocations to take place in progress appropriate amounts every two years until bridge completion.

  • Oregon congressional and senate stakeholders are being lobbied to obtain their firm commitment to $1 billion.

  • Draft Environmental Impact Statement to be released early this fall. It will have a 45–60-day comment period once that is released. Final environmental impact decision anticipated in 2024.

  • Finance plan will be released in March and updated annually.

  • Section 106 impacts (historical, cultural, archeological) are in process of being identified and stakeholders engaged. An online public open house is planned for April. 


The project team has held meetings to discuss the cost estimate, including scope, funding, and economic impacts. They are working with local and national equity leaders to create a framework for development of the tolling projects that result in benefits for communities that have traditionally been disproportionately negatively impacted by transportation decisions. The Equity and Mobility Advisory Committee (EMAC) has worked to help identify strategies to improve outcomes and access to travel choices for all demographics.


They continue to explore equitable strategies used in other parts of the country, including reduced or free transponders, cash payment options for unbanked individuals, rebates or discounts for different income levels, and integrating benefits between travel modes, such as transit passes that accumulate toll credits.


Oregon Economic Analysis 


By Claudia Keith


The Oregon Economic and Revenue Forecast was released Feb 22. The next forecast is due May 17. JW&M recommended budget will use the May forecast to balance the budget.

The Oregon Office of Economic Analysis has continued to ignore the recommended SEC Climate Risk disclosure rule. Recent Bank Failures May Indicate Problems with Going Concern Standards, Liquidity Risk Disclosure Rules| Reuters. “… Focus on Traditional Financials: In addition, Baumann had some criticisms that the SEC may be too focused on non-traditional disclosures, such as environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters. “The SEC is very interested in new climate disclosures, but fundamental things like risks in the financial statements of a bank, and understanding those financial statements, maybe some of the fundamentals, and blocking and tackling, some of those things may have been ignored,” he said. “I’m not opposed to ESG; I’m just saying maybe there is excessive focus on climate related disclosures versus issues like bank liquidity and asset liability duration risk. ESG isn’t going to take down our country, but inadequate disclosure of banking liquidity risks may.”.…”


SEC Chair Responds to Questions on Potential Lawsuit on Climate Disclosure, Fast Paced Rulemaking | Reuters. 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, contingent on formation of an Oregon Green Bank Up To $27B Available for NPO Clean Energy Activities. Green Bank's Public-Private Partnership Secures Carbon Credits for EV Charging Systems. The Economic Tides Just Turned for States | RMI.


Treasurer Tobias Read Releases First-Ever Oregon Financial Wellness Scorecard| OST.


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. Bill Calls for Oregon to Divest From Fossil Fuels | Chief Investment Officer CIO.​ ESG Battlegrounds: How the States Are Shaping the Regulatory Landscape in the U.S.| Harvard



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, (March 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 62 lawsuits with OREGON mentioned. Climate lawsuits:

Hawaii Supreme Court Unanimously Rejects Big Island's Hu Honua Power Project - Honolulu Civil Beat. Older Swiss women take government to court over climate | Climate News | Al Jazeera


Our Children’s Trust: March 15, 2023: Judge Denies 18 Republican Attorneys’ General Request to Intervene in Constitutional Climate Case Juliana v. United States.


Oregon and PNW News

Oregon eyes mandate for climate change lessons in schools | AP News. Oregon’s uncertain electric future - oregonlive. NW Natural in existential fight as Oregon eyes electrification - oregonlive.. What Oregon lawmakers propose to make buildings more energy-efficient | Northwest | ncwlife. U.S. Senate panel probes how crypto mining increases energy consumption – Oregon Capital Chronicle


National & Global


Here are the most and least disaster-prone states | The Hill. Alaska's Willow oil project is controversial. Here's why. | AP. Climate bright spot: Building sector decarbonization is well underway | The Hill. Opinion : What if climate change meant not doom — but abundance? By Rebecca Solnit | WP. Larry Fink (BlackRock Chairman and CEO) finds way to dodge ESG crosshairs | Reuters. Biden Wants Climate Change, Approves Willow Oil Drilling Project – Rolling Stone. FACT SHEET: President Biden’s Budget Lowers Energy Costs, Combats the Climate Crisis, and Advances Environmental Justice | 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


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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