top of page
Climate Emergency

Legislative Report - Week of 5/22

Jump to a topic:

** Action Needed: Please contact your State Senator and Representative to encourage them to support the following Climate, Energy and Environmental Justice related Bills. Funds are available, the recent May revenue forecast provides historical funding opportunities across all policy areas. **

Climate Priority Bills

By Claudia Keith

The Republican walkout put most of these bills at risk. The CE priority bills had minimal activity in the last month. Most have already moved to JW&Ms. Find additional background in previous LR (report)s on the six CE priorities.

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’ currently House Desk - Third Reading. The committee 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 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. SB 907 amendment -6 staff measure summary. 4/4 work session, moved to the floor with do pass with amendments, a unanimous vote. SB 907 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

By Claudia Keith and Greg Martin

The House passed HB 3550A by a vote of 34-23. It would require all light-duty vehicles a state agency buys or leases after 1/1/2025 to be Zero Emissions Vehicles unless the agency finds that a ZEV is not feasible for the vehicle's specific use. This includes police and fire vehicles among others exempted by current law. It also would require the Office of Administrative Services to replace diesel with biofuel or biofuel-derived electricity in all generation facilities or machinery the agency installs or operates, to the maximum extent economically feasible.

Senate E&E passed HB 3179-A7, 3-0 (Lieber excused, Hayden absent) to the Senate floor with a do pass recommendation on 5/18. The bill would double the maximum allowable acreage for solar photovoltaic power generation facility siting in the context of county land-use planning, allowing counties to approve more and larger solar projects while preserving existing protections for land use and wildlife. The -A7 requires a land use permit applicant for a renewable energy facility to provide a decommissioning plan to restore the site to "a useful, nonhazardous condition," assured by bonding or other security. 

HB 2763 A Creates a State Public Bank Task Force, League Testimony. Like the 2022 session RB task force, a 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 -– League support

HB 3166 A — Whole-home Retrofits and High-efficiency Electric Home Rebates –– League support

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

R’s have an issue with I-5 bridge funding recommendation, see recent Rep Boshart-Davis newsletter. A new I-5 bridge bill is in progress. HB 2098 had amendments posted on 5/17 but this bill is likely dead. (See Joint Transportation committee) 

Oregon Economic Analysis 

By Claudia Keith

The Oregon Economic and Revenue Forecast was released May 17. 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, agenda and meeting materials 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 and  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

Oregon Global Warming Commission

By Greg Martin

ODOE's legislative update touched on known points, including speculation about a special budget session in the event the Senate doesn't reconvene, and a possible omnibus climate bill. 

Other updates:

ODOE's electric grid resilience open houses (in person and virtual) were held May 23 and 24. 

OHA began rulemaking on its Healthy Homes grant program in April and hopes to issue grants to eligible third-party organizations by the end of this year. The program was created by HB 2842 in 2021, with LWVOR’s support, to help low-income households repair and rehabilitate their dwellings to address climate and other environmental hazards. This program is an important pathway to leverage state funds to complement available federal funds.

ODOE staff outlined upcoming work on the Climate Pollution Reduction Planning Grant program – $5 billion funding opportunity created by the IRA to help states, local governments, tribes, and territories develop plans for reducing GHG emissions and other harmful air pollution. Phase 1, development of state planning grants = $250 million ($3 million per state plus $1 million for each major MSA, $TBD for tribal governments). Phase 2 = $4.6 billion (competitive) for implementing state plans. Oregon has applied for planning funds, must submit its Priority Climate Action Plan by 3/1/2024 and Comprehensive Climate Action Plan by summer-fall 2025. Critical brief window in March 2024 — states will have 1 month to submit applications for implementation grants per EPA solicitation (RFP). OGWC’s Roadmap to 2030, already developed, may give OR a leg up on most other states — will build on that with input from across state government, local governments, community organizations, and tribes.

Environmental Quality Commission Meeting

By Greg Martin

At the May 18 meeting, DEQ staff updated the commission on various legislative and regulatory topics. Link to Meeting agenda and materials Climate and resilience-related highlights follow.

Air quality/GHG emissions: 

• EPA has posted its proposed new emission standards for light- and medium-duty vehicles and held public hearings. Written comments are due July 5. The standards starting with model year 2027 are expected to align more closely with California standards that Oregon recently adopted. 

• In March, DEQ launched a pre-approval process for the Charge Ahead program of ZEV rebates. Low- and moderate-income Oregonians who prequalify can present vouchers for ZEV purchases at auto dealerships. Unfortunately, the program has been suspended because funding to continue it (HB 2613) is stalled in the Joint Transportation Committee. 

Legislative and budget updates: Legislators will have more money to work with than they thought but the backlog of bills in W&M is very large. DEQ staff expressed optimism that their bills will begin to emerge from W&M though not necessarily at the requested funding levels.

Item C: Budget and Legislative Updates (Informational)

DEQ will provide updates on the 2023 Legislative Session, including bills under consideration, and DEQ’s budget process. Item C presentation slides)

Fuel tank seismic stability rulemaking: SB 1567, enacted in 2022 and supported by LWVOR, requires EQC to adopt rules for fuel terminal owners along the Willamette River to retrofit their facilities to withstand a magnitude 9 earthquake. Owners must develop individual risk mitigation plans, and DEQ must develop a risk mitigation implementation program through rulemaking. RAC meetings ended in April with approval of draft rules and impact statements. DEQ will post the rules for public comment in June and expects to propose final draft rules for EQC consideration in September. Implementation is to be completed in 10 years.

(Item D: Fuel Tank Seismic Stability rulemaking (Informational)

DEQ will provide updates regarding a rulemaking under development for seismic stability, as directed in legislation regarding fuel tank seismic stability requirements. The commission will be asked to take action on a proposed rulemaking later in 2023. Item D presentation slides

Volunteers Urgently 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 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.

bottom of page