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Climate Emergency

Legislative Report - Week of 5/15

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Priority Bills

The May 17 Revenue 23-25 forecast was very favorable. Oregon is forecasted to have $1.5-2.0 B in funds not previously reflected in the Feb  forecast. Previously the Governor and Legislature majority leadership have given some direction in their commitment to a meaningful ‘Climate Package’. Related, given the new May forecast Oregon, is now in a better position to qualify for Federal matching Energy/Climate IPA funds. The CE priority bills had minimal activity in the last few weeks. Most have already moved to JW&Ms. Find additional background in previous LR (report)s on the six CE priorities.

** Action Needed:  Please contact your State Senator and Representative to encourage them to support the following Climate and Environmental related Bills. **

1. Resilient Buildings (RB) policy package:

Bills are now in JW&M. 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 870 A Staff measure summary, Fiscal and Follow-up Questions

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

2. SB 530A: Natural and Working Lands is in JW&Ms. The League continues to be an active coalition member. Fiscal. Staff Measure Summary

3. Environmental Justice (EJ) 2023 bills:

SB 907 A ‘Right to Refuse Dangerous work’ public hearing was on May 10 in House B&L. The work session was 5/17, bill moved to House Desk with 6,0,5,0 do pass vote. Here is the May 9 LWVOR testimony. The bill will go to the floor; it has Minimal Fiscal Impact.

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 A, 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 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. (POPS and current service level spending).

6. CE related total 2023-2025 biennium budget: The governor’s budget* was published January 31; Kotek’s budget priorities. On May 17 the Governor's budget / May forecast press release did not mention the Climate Package topic. There is still some discussion concerning using available funds versus issuing additional state bonds for capital construction projects. We provided testimony on the Oregon Dept. of Energy (ODOE) budget (HB 5016) and will add climate items to (DEQ) HB 5018 League 3/30 testimony. In both cases, our testimony requested additional agency requests not included in the Governor’s January budget.

Other CE Bills that are still alive:

HB 2763 A updated with -1 amendment: League Testimony. Creates a State Public Bank Task Force. Like the 2022 session 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, community green infrastructure, moved to JW&Ms unanimously. Legislative -2 Staff Measure Summary.

HB 3196A – Fees from Community Climate Investment funds -– Support

HB 3166 A– Whole-home Retrofits and High-efficiency Electric Home Rebates–– Support

HB 3056 A–– Extends Residential Heat Pump Fund until to January 2, 2026 –– Support

HB3181 A -- Energy Siting process. Fiscal . Staff Summary Currently in JWM.

HB2990A Resilience Community Hubs, Fiscal, Staff Summary

Interstate 5 (I-5) Bridge Project

By Claudia Keith

No schedule meetings yet for the Legislative Joint Committee on Interstate 5 Bridge. Other related Meetings & Events | I-5 Bridge Replacement Program


Thursday, May 25, 2023, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM.

Join the meeting via Online Zoom webinar or on YouTube. This meeting will be live streamed on the IBR program YouTube channel,with closed captioning and all past meetings available. 

Oregon Economic Analysis 

By Claudia Keith

The Oregon Economic and Revenue Forecast was released May 17. (See CE LR above for details). The 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: | Remarks at the 2023 SEC Municipal Securities Disclosure Conference, The Need for Climate Risk Disclosures: Emerging trends in ESG governance for 2023 | Harvard. 

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 Pers Performance: Returns for periods ending MAR-2023 Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund.

The Oregon Investment Council will meet May 31. The agenda and meeting materials are not yet posted. The Council met April 19; see meeting packet; no 4/19 minutes posted yet. The April packet includes the March meeting minutes. ESG investing continues to be addressed.


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 a federal lawsuits, (May 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, mentioning OREGON.

Youth lawsuit challenging Montana's pro-fossil fuel policies is heading to trial | AP News. The challenges and promises of climate lawsuits | Supreme Court deals blow to oil companies by turning away climate cases | NBC News

Natural Climate Solutions Bill 

By Josie Koehne

SB 530 A, the Natural Climate Solutions Bill makes it state policy to "implement strategies to advance natural climate solutions to mitigate the future impacts of climate change," and to invest in research on the effects of natural climate solutions on natural and working lands. Working lands means agricultural, forest and marine lands that naturally sequester carbon. The bill will provide incentives via grants to owners/managers of these lands for voluntarily adopting strategies to increase carbon storage on their lands. The funding from state, federal and private sources is to prepare an "inventory, baseline, activity based metrics and community impact metrics for net carbon sequestration and storage in natural and working lands and establish carbon sequestration and storage goals."  

SB 530 A passed out of the Senate Natural Resources Committee with a Do Pass recommendation, 3-2 along a party line vote. The -7 was adopted that modifies some definitions and changes the committee that is to receive and distribute the requested $20 million per biennium from the Department of Energy (DOE) to the Oregon Water Enhancement Board (OWEB), which already has the authority to write and distribute grants. The Oregon Global Warming Commission will advise OWEB and regularly report to the legislature on the uses of moneys from fund. The bill now sits in Joint Natural Resources W&Ms for possible funding, where it resided at least until the May 17 Forecast is published that helps the committee know how much money it has to spend this session.

The LWVOR supports this bill and asks that you ask members of Joint NR W&Ms to fully fund this bill. The LWVOR was part of the coalition that wrote and signed this letter to J W&Ms. We hope you will contact them!

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

· Greenhouse Gas Emission Mitigation and Renewable Energy

· 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: CE Coordinator. Orientation to Legislative and State Agency advocacy processes is available.

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