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Climate Emergency

Legislative Report - Week of 4/17

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 (CE) Priorities

By Claudia Keith, Climate Emergency Coordinator

Priority Bills

CE priority bills had minimal activity last week. Most have already moved to JW&Ms, And one to the House. Find in previous LR (report)s additional background on the six CE priorities.

1. Resilient Buildings (RB) policy package:


The Work sessions were held on 4/4. All four bills moved with a partisan vote. Bills are Now in JWM. 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

2. 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

3. Environmental Justice (EJ) 2023 bills: SB 907 passed in the Senate 21/8, currently at “Speakers DESK”.

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. 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…

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. CE related total 2023-2025 biennium budget: The governor’s budget* was published January 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 January 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 January 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

The Oregon Joint Committee on Transportation held an informational meeting on the Interstate 5 Bridge Replacement Project (IBR) on Thursday, April 13th, 2023.  The presentation, supporting testimony and questions from the committee included the urgency of the timeline for federal funding requirements to be met. Oregon’s commitment to a $1 Billion share of the costs would have to be passed through the Legislature by May 5, 2023.  The League of Women Voters of Oregon has identified the Project as a key project impacting Oregonians and anyone traveling the I-5 corridor.

A recording of the meeting can be viewed here.

This particular meeting was for invited speakers only.  Greg Johnson, Project Manager, and Kris Strickler, Director of ODOT, presented on the Project, its development, and its value to the region.  Links to the presentation and supplementary information can be found here: presentation and fact sheet.

SB 2098 has been drafted outlining funding and project direction but was not discussed in depth during this meeting.

Other topics of concern were auxiliary lanes to be built in addition to the three existing ones each way on the current bridge and the possible impact of additional lanes to increased greenhouse gas emissions, current condition and maintenance of the bridge and its seismic readiness.  The bridge is a bottleneck to west coast freight traffic, an important economic factor for the region.  Legislators were concerned about the costs, the urgency to qualify for federal funding and giving airtime to other visions for the design of the bridge to make sure the investment covers all the needs of the region.  

The next informational meeting was scheduled on Thursday, April 20, 2023, at 5:30 PM, with a caution to look for possible date and time changes at the last minute.  Public hearing on the bill was scheduled for April 27th, 2023.

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 proposed rule.

Analysis: The Need for Climate Risk Disclosures: Emerging trends in ESG governance for 2023 | Harvard.  SEC Climate Rules Risk Legal Battle with Environmental Groups |   Bloomberg Law.  Commentary: SEC's proposed climate change disclosures put CFOs under the spotlight | Pensions & Investments.  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.

Oregon Gov. Kotek balks at plans for $1 billion Interstate 5 bridge bond – Oregon Capital Chronicle

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 meet April 19. The agenda and meeting materials.  The Council met March 8; see the meeting packet. ESG is mentioned on page 7. The formal meeting 3/8 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. January 2023 Pers Statement. Moody’s recent Oregon Bond rating rationale: ‘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 January 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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