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Climate Emergency

Legislative Report - Week of 4/3

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

CE priority bills continue to move forward. All have moved to the floor or to JW&Ms. Find in previous LR reports additional background on each CE priority.

1. SB 530 -7: 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.

2. Resilient Buildings (RB) policy package: Work sessions were held on 4/4. All four bills moved to JW&Ms, with a partisan vote. The League is an active RB coalition partner. Link to League testimonies: SB 868, 869, 870 and 871. Recently posted to OLIS:

*** Mark your Calendars: The Resilient Buildings Coalition is having an in-person LOBBY Day at the Capital April 20. More details via an Alert will be published later this month. Pre-register for this Lobby Day.***

3. 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 907-6, 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…

4. Oregon Climate Action Commission (currently Oregon Global Warming Commission): Roadmap, SB 522 -3 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.

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 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.

Find in last week’s Social Policy LR a summary of the Governor’s recommended budget for the OHA Public Health Div. It includes Healthcare, Natural Resources, and Climate Emergency related topics.

Other CE Bills

By Claudia Keith

HB 2763 -1: 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 -2 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.

House CE&E 4/5/23

By Greg Martin

House CE&E heard favorable testimony on April 5 for SB 545 A from Sen. Sollman and environmental witnesses. The Senate engrossed bill greatly simplifies the original, removing the detailed prescription of what the OHA rules must contain. The amended bill simply requires OHA to "adopt rules allowing for a restaurant to allow a consumer to fill a consumer-owned container with food." It also gives OHA an additional 6 months to adopt the rules, by June 30, 2024. ODA was removed from the rulemaking mandate.  Senate E&E Work Session 4/4/23

Update: In addition to SB 868-871, Senate E&E reported:

SB 542-7: Right to Repair bill, minimal expenditure impact so presumably sent to the floor. 

SB 522-3: Renames OGWC as the Oregon Climate Action Commission; increases membership from 25 to 35 members (13 voting), including an EJ member, a “youth representative” and a member with “significant experience in the fishing industry”; declares Oregon’s “aspiration” to reduce GHG emissions in stages, to achieve 2050 levels that are at least 95% below 1990 levels, and net zero emissions by 2050; requires the commission to track progress toward those goals; and requires DEQ to study and report on opportunities to reduce consumption-based GHG emissions through materials management or other state programs. Fiscal note projects expenditure of $776K in 2023-25 and $632K in 2025-27 for two new full-time ODOE staff and contracting for the required emissions forecast. Presumably referred to Joint W&M.

SB 803-6: Original bill would have established a CI standard for diesel fuel sold in Oregon for use in on-road vehicles, beginning in 2026. Opposition from trucking, ag, construction, et al, pared it back to a “study” bill for DEQ. Fiscal note estimates the study cost at $90K, subsequent referral to JW&Ms.

House C E & E 3/29

By Greg Martin

HB 3459-5: Adjustments to the low-income electric bill payment assistance program for PGE and PP customers. Moved to the JW&Ms (6-4 vote). Fiscal note explains: Under current law, HCSD receives $20 million/yr as a base amount for bill payment assistance. In 2021, an additional $10 million was authorized for collection and deposit through December 2023. This bill reduces the supplemental amount collected to $5 million and extends the sunset through December 2025. Projected to require an additional $2.5 million for bill payment assistance in both 23-25 and 25-27. 

HB 3590: Requires study of developing fuel pathways for low carbon fuels derived from woody biomass residues from forestry operations. Moved to JW&Ms by unanimous vote. Includes $3 million GF appropriation for HECC in 23-25.

HB 3004-3: Tax credit for “non-emitting” electricity generation or storage facility placed in service post 2024. Moved w/out recommendation, with referral to Tax Exp., then to W&M. Fiscal impact is indeterminate, depending on how many facilities might be eligible. 

HB 2571-2: Rebates for electric bicycle purchases. Moved to the floor with prior referral to W&M. It would appropriate $6 million (!) GF for the Electric Bicycle Incentive Fund; fiscal note estimates nearly a million more needed for DEQ program administration. 

HB 3464-3, the beaver protection act, had a 4/3 work session, unanimous vote, moved to floor, with do pass. No fiscal impact, and apparently, we'll still be able to call beavers "rodents" even though we can't "take" one unless it "imminently threatens infrastructure." Ducks are still fair game in season.

Senate E&E 3/30

SB 582-3: training and certification requirements for installers of EV charging systems, creating a training grant program under BOLI. Moved to floor w/ do pass recommendation, w/ referral to W&M for further fiscal analysis.

SB 123-2, study of digital labeling to convey info about recyclability claims. Moved to floor as amended w/ do pass recommendation. No fiscal impact.

All other bills on the agenda, including SB 488, 522, 542, 803 and 868-871, were carried over to Tuesday 4/4 for one reason or another.

House CE&E 4/3

The committee moved these bills among others to the floor with do-pass recommendation and referral to Joint W&M:

HB 3378-2: As amended, sets up a $2 million grant program under ODOE to cover counties’ cost of developing optional energy resilience plans to respond to major grid disruptions. Counties could receive grants of up to $50,000 and could pool their grant money. Fiscal impact statement of $2.1 million GF includes one full-time program analyst to design and oversee the grant program.

HB 2714-4: Establishes a $15 million fund under DEQ to support rebates for purchase or lease of zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. Marsh put on the record, saying she hopes it will become a budget note, that if $15m isn’t available, whatever state funds do come through should go to medium-duty rather than heavy-duty trucks. Fiscal impact statement of $15.3m includes hiring two permanent full-time program analysts. 

HB 2170-3: Sen. Brock Smith bill requiring ODOE to study and report to legislature on feasibility of establishing a renewable hydrogen hub at Port of Coos Bay. Rep. Pham opposed the motion. Fiscal note estimates a study cost of $200K. 

The committee also voted to move HB 2614 w/out recommendation as to passage, for referral to Joint Transp. The introduced bill would require transportation network companies to meet or exceed specified targets for percentage of service miles provided by ZEVs. Chair Marsh moved to punt the bill since the committee had not discussed it or the amendments since the public hearing two months ago. The committee voted to do so though Rep. Osborne objected, saying if we don’t know enough about the topic, why not just kill it.

Interstate 5 (I-5) Bridge Project

By Liz Stewart and Arlene Sherrett

The League has identified the I-5 Bridge Replacement as a key project impacting Oregonians and anyone traveling the I-5 corridor. This extensive, multi-year, project is projected to cost between $5-7.5 billion and take until 2028 to complete. Washington and Oregon state transportation departments are jointly leading the project.

Accountability Dashboard has extensive information and resources on financial and community accomplishments in an easily digested format.

A monthly newsletter is available to track progress on the project.

• The Executive Steering Group last met on March 21 and discussed funding in detail. The financial plan report was scheduled to be released at the end of March and updated around major program milestones.

Equity Advisory Group and the Community Advisory Group host regular meetings designed to educate and obtain input from the community on issues related to the IBR.

• The Joint Committee on The Interstate 5 Bridge currently has no scheduled meetings.

• Several bills related to tolling have been referred to Transportation and are moving forward during this session.

• There are no new meetings scheduled on this project until the middle of the month. See the regular meeting calendar link (4th bullet above) for more information.

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.

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 Council met March 8; see the meeting packet. ESG is mentioned on page 7. The formal meeting minutes still have not been posted yet. The agenda included ESG Regulatory Update Sarah Bernstein 7 Managing Principal, Meketa and Steven Marlowe, Assistant Attorney General, Oregon Department of Justice.

Treasurer Tobias Read Releases First-Ever Oregon Financial Wellness Scorecard | OST. The Feb Pers 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, (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 64 lawsuits with OREGON mentioned. Climate lawsuits:

Oregon and NW regional News

Offshore Wind Energy: Council wants current plans rescinded | News | Amazon tried to kill emissions bill in Oregon despite climate pledge | The Washington Post. Oregon utility files IRP, inaugural clean energy plan | pv magazine USA. PacifiCorp wants more time to file first Oregon clean energy plan - Portland Business Journal. PGE Files for Largest Bill Increase in 20 Years | CUB Blog

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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