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Climate Emergency

Legislative Report - Week of 4/10

Jump to a topic:

  • Climate Emergency Priorities

  • Other CE Bills

  • Interstate 5 Bridge Project

  • Oregon Economic Analysis 

  • Oregon Treasury

  • Climate Related Lawsuits: Oregon and…

Climate Emergency Priorities

By Claudia Keith, Climate Emergency Coordinator

The Oregon Global Warming Commission has released their 2023 Climate Change Report:


Unlike previous biennial reports, the 2023 Report to the Legislature does not include recommendations. Instead, the Commission developed its Oregon Climate Action Roadmap to 2030 in parallel, which includes extensive recommendations to inform state climate action moving forward, some of which are highlighted in this 2023 Report to the Legislature. However, the report continues to provide key foundational information on state climate impacts, emission trends, and progress towards achieving Oregon’s GHG emission reduction goals.

According to preliminary emissions data, despite an overall reduction in emissions in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Oregon still missed its 2020 greenhouse gas reduction goal by 13 %. In 2021, emissions grew back closer to pre-pandemic levels, putting Oregon even further (19 %) off the 2020 goal. At the same time, recent actions taken to mitigate the state’s contributions to the climate crisis have better positioned Oregon to meet its goals moving forward and the Roadmap to 2030 provides extensive recommendations to ensure Oregon does not miss its next greenhouse gas goal.”

OGWC RoadMap 2030 Report

Oregon must cut emissions much faster to reach global climate goals, report states -

Priority Bills

CE priority bills had no activity last week. All have moved to the floor, or to JW&Ms. Find in previous LR (report)s additional background on each CE priority.

  1. Resilient Buildings (RB) policy package:

*** Mark your Calendars: The Resilient Buildings Coalition is having an in-person LOBBY Day at the Capital April 20. Pre-register for this Lobby Day. 


Work sessions were held on 4/4. All four bills moved with a partisan vote. Currently they are posted as: “Senate Presidents Desk - Awaiting Disposition”. The League is an active RB coalition partner. Link to League testimonies: SB 868, 869, 870 and 871.

· SB 868 A staff measure summary, Fiscal and Follow-up Questions

· SB 869 A staff measure summary, Fiscal and Follow-up Questions

· SB 870A Staff measure summary, Fiscal and Follow-up Questions

· SB 871A staff measure summary, Fiscal and Follow-up Questions

  1. SB 530A: Natural and Working Lands: On 4/4 the bill moved to JW&Ms with Do pass with-7 amendment, a 3/2 partisan vote. The League continues to be an active coalition member. Fiscal. Staff Measure Summary

  1. Environmental Justice (EJ) 2023 bills: The League joined the Worker Advocate Coalition on 2/13. SB 593 is one of two bills the League will follow and support. The ‘Right to Refuse dangerous work’ SB 907A, League testimony. New on OLIS: SB 907 amendment -6 staff measure summary. 4/4 work session, moved to the floor with do pass with amendments, a unanimous vote.SB907 Coalition Sign-on Letter - LWVOR one of many organizations… On Wed 4/12 the bill was listed in the Senate as Third Reading.

  1. Oregon Climate Action Commission (currently Oregon Global Warming Commission): Roadmap, SB 522 A staff measure summary, fiscal, 4/4 Work Session moved, with 4/1 vote to JW&Ms.

  1. Other Governor Climate / Carbon Policy Topics: See 20-04 Executive Order topics. This area includes other GHG emission mitigation/reductions (DEQ) and new clean renewable energy (DEQ & DOE), OHA public health, and ODOT (Dept of Transportation) policy and funding bills including state agency budget bills.

  1. 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 in both chambers to pass this proposed change.

We provided testimony on the Oregon Dept. of Energy (ODOE) budget (HB 5016) and will be adding climate items to (DEQ) HB 5018 League 3/30 testimony. In both cases, our testimony will request additional agency requests not included in the Governor’s Jan budget. Another major issue, the upcoming mid-May Forecast, will likely provide new required budget balancing guidelines. 

Other CE Bills

By Claudia Keith

HB 2763 A updated with -1 amendment: League Testimony. Creates a State public bank Task Force. Like the RB task force, the 23-member Task Force is required to recommend no later than Jan 2024. “The report must include a recommendation for a governing structure for a public bank.” This policy topic will likely have a bill in the 2024 session -1 staff measure summary. Moved on 3/14 with recommendation to JW&Ms with -1 amendment. Fiscal

HB 3016 A updated with -2 amendment, community green infrastructure, Rep Pham K, Senator Dembrow, Rep Gamba. Work Session was 3/15. Fiscal Moved to JW&Ms unanimously. Legislative -2 Staff Measure Summary.

Interstate 5 (I-5) Bridge Project

By Arlene Sherrett


Oregon’s $1 billion share to start the project was discussed at the Joint Transportation informational meeting Thursday, April 13, 2023, at 5:30 PM. A bill (but no bill number) from ODOT will be discussed at the meeting. Text for the bill was sent out from 1000 Friends of Oregon but a link to it is not available. Perhaps it will be on OLIS before or after the meeting.

Estimated Overall cost $ 5 -7.5 Billion.


The bi-state program’s latest proposal for the bridge, the Modified Locally Preferred Alternative (Modified LPA) has been criticized by a coalition of local citizen groups called the Just Crossing Alliance (JCA), or Right Size Right Now campaign or a S.A.F.E.R. Bridge for Stronger Communities. Issues with bridge design are listed on the linked websites.

It is unclear whether design issues will be discussed officially before the IBR program’s Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement is available, anticipated in 2023. A public comment period will open after that. 

JCA wants to “steer the public’s dollars into transportation solutions that will reduce – not expand – climate warming pollution. This includes safe and accessible public transportation, electrification, and safe streets for all users.” The Alliance held a Day of Action on Thursday, April 13, at the State Capitol. 

Some would like to see a resurrection of the CommonSense Alternative (CSA) to the Columbia River Crossing (CRC.) The estimated cost for the CSA ($1.8 Mil) was lower than the cost of the CRC by half when the analysis was made. Estimated costs today have not been compared to the current plan, the Modified LPA; the CSA also offers more alternatives for rail, local passenger and truck traffic.

Putting yet another twist into the design discussion, Vancouver Mayor Pro Tem Ty Stober said “I am calling on the IBR team to do a fresh, complete study of a tunnel. The benefit would be to reconnect downtown Vancouver to Fort Vancouver and open the skyline.” Apparently the Modified LPA obstructs the view from the waterfront Vancouver has put so much money and time into.

Sign up for email on IBR project website: IBR has several public groups formed to give input on the project. Find out about participation at public meetings here and here. Just Crossing Alliance highlighted issues and sign-up are linked here

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. The Need for Climate Risk Disclosures: Emerging trends in ESG governance for 2023 | Harvard. The Need For Climate Risk Disclosures: A Case Study Of Physical Risk Of Two REITS, EQR And ARE | Forbes.

See supportive SEC disclosure LWVOR-initiated LWVUS Testimony, June 2022. 

Oregon Treasury

By Claudia Keith

It is unclear how Oregon Treasury/Treasurer Tobias Read will assist with addressing the IRA $27B Federal funds, contingent on formation of an Oregon Green Bank. Up To $27B Available for NPO Clean Energy Activities. | TNPT.

The Treasurer recently sent this letter to FTC: 4/11/2023, Letter to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission Proposed Non-Compete Clause Rule.

Oregon State Treasury Completes Nearly $1 Billion Bond Sale, Offers State Residents Opportunity to Invest In Oregon. Oregon bill to divest from coal, oil and gas peters out | National News |

The Oregon Investment Council will meet April 19. The agenda and meeting materials as of 4/12 were not posted. 

The Council met March 8; see the meeting packet. ESG is mentioned on page 7. The formal meeting minutes still have not been posted.

Treasurer Tobias Read Releases First-Ever Oregon Financial Wellness Scorecard | OST. The monthly March and Feb ending Oregon PERS Financial Statement has yet to be posted. Jan 2023 Pers Statement. Moody’s recent Oregon Bond rating rational: ‘Moody's assigns Aa1 to the State of Oregon's GO bonds; outlook stable’. 

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, (April 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 64 lawsuits with OREGON mentioned. Climate lawsuits:

Oregon, NW regional and National News

Amazon strikes renewable power deal for Oregon data centers, won’t say how much it’s buying -

NW Natural climate strategy takes a hit from Oregon PUC staff | Portland Business Journal. FERC Gets Advice, Criticism on Environmental Justice | RTO Insider

Federal HHS : Climate Change & Health Equity and Environmental Justice - April 2023 Climate and Health Outlook

"Northwest: Minor spring flooding potential is expected to be above normal for the Upper Snake River Basin in eastern Idaho. Drought is favored to persist in small portions of northeast Washington and northern Idaho. Drought improvement and removal is favored in much of Oregon and in parts of central Idaho. Normal significant wildland fire* potential is also expected.”

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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