Ballot Measures Addressing Climate Pollution Initiated for the November 2020 Election
January 16th Update
1) Appointed Secretary of State Bev Clarno, abetted by assistant SoS Rich Vial (who has since resigned) ruled that Initiatives 48 and 49 breached the ‘single topic’ rule since they addressed both electrical utilities and labor and rejected them. This decision was appealed by the chief petitioner. That appeal was upheld by Judge David Leith, and the Secretary of State was thereby over-ruled. Lieth determined that: “the measures encompass a single subject — a transition to renewable energy power system, with labor and equity provisions included in the measures connected to that subject to guide the transition.”
2) In addition to the three Ballot measure listed below, a fourth was submitted (IP 56) – the toxics Ballot Measure: IP 56 would:
a) Regulate existing industry to the strongest health-based standards.
Cleaner Air Oregon was put in place after local residents learned about toxic emissions from facilities near schools and neighborhoods. However, industry
was able to influence the level of regulation for cancer-causing and other toxic emissions. This ballot measure would fix those industry give-aways by regulating toxics and carcinogens from existing sources to levels recommended by science and the health community. These are the same levels that new facilities have to meet, and.
b) Empower communities.
Communities should have the right to know what industry is putting into their air, water, and soil. In the 1990s, the City of Eugene adopted an innovative “Community Toxics Right to Know”
ordinance. Not long after, industry put a preemption of local ordinances into state law. This measure would remove the limitations on local toxics right to know programs, empowering local communities to gather information necessary to protect their health and well-being.
IP56 has not yet been approved.
Recognizing that the Oregon State legislature has been unable to pass meaningful greenhouse gas emissions reduction legislation, the statewide climate coalition, led by Renew Oregon, developed a series of Ballot Measures that will appear on the ballot in November 2020 if the legislature is again unable to pass necessary legislation in the 2020 session.
The initial collection of 1000 signatures required to demonstrate that this is a serious and non-frivolous effort have been collected and was submitted to the Secretary of State on October 30th for validation with double the number of signatures needed.
On that day, Rural Oregon Climate Political Action Committee (ROCPAC) and SOCAN collaborated on offering a Rally and Press Conference held at Vogel Plaza in Medford at noon. The sunny but chilly event was delayed by an accident involving a passing truck and pedestrian, but started half an hour late at about 12:30 pm. After Master of Ceremonies Hogan Sherrow launched the rally with a few rousing words about the existence of broad rural support for climate action, and some introductory remarks about ROCPAC (https://www.rocpac.org/), the team of three brief speakers was introduced. SOCAN Co-facilitator Alan Journet kicked off with comments urging the state legislature to pass meaningful greenhouse gas emissions reduction legislation in 2020 and the need to protect future generations from the ravages that business as usual would impose on future generations. Ashland City Council member and Geos Institute Executive Director followed with some words about the general consequences of global warming and the climate chaos it is imposing. The final speaker was Rhianna Somes, Executive Director of Our Family Farms, speaking on behalf of her children and Rogue Valley farmers, reminded the audience that just as citizens can halt the advance of GMO crops, so we can reverse the climate trends we are suffering.
Video of the event is available here: https://www.facebook.com/SOClimate/.
The first three Ballot Measures are as follows:
Petition Initiative 48: Requires that by 2045 100% of the electricity sold to Oregon consumers shall be produced by fossil-free renewable energy. Text: IP.48
Petition Initiative 49: As above but add that electric utilities shall invest in widespread electrification programs (transportation and construction projects over $50,000) that reduce greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the state’s goals. Text IP.49
Petition Initiative 50: Requires that greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon shall be reduce to 100% below 1990 levels (i.e. zero) by 2050 with an interim reduction requirement of 50% below 1990 levels by 2035. Text IP.50
October 16th 2019 Update
All reports point to the probability that a bill similar to HB2020 will be introduced into the 2020 short session under the heading of ‘unfinished business.’ It is difficult to imagine there being anything else more appropriate to meet that criterion. Meanwhile, a series of Ballot Measures have been developed by Renew Oregon and collaborators allowing us to take the issue of addressing climate chaos through reductions in Oregon emissions to the voters of Oregon in November 2020 should legislative action not be successful.
We are currently collecting 1,000 signatures on a petition drive to demonstrate that these Ballot Measure are not frivolous and assure that they are turned into actual Ballot Initiatives. Once this has been achieved, we will need to collect over 100,000 signatures.
The Ballot Measures are:
Initiative Petition 48: 100% Clean
Summary: This initiative requires all electricity in Oregon to be 100% clean and carbon-free by 2045. Electrical utilities will be required to phase in electricity generated from solar, wind, hydroelectric and other clean and renewable resources to reach 100% by 2045.
- Establishes electric utilities meet clean energy requirements of 100% clean by 2045
Initiative Petition 49: 100% Clean + Electrify Everything
Summary: All of Oregon’s electricity will be 100% clean and carbon-free by 2045, ensuring that clean electricity powers our cars, homes, and businesses. Electric utilities will be required to phase in electricity generated from solar, wind, hydroelectric and other clean and renewable resources to reach 100% by 2045. They will also be empowered to make major investments to help individuals and businesses electrify homes, cars, and operations, leading to cleaner and lower cost operations.
- Establishes electric utilities meet clean energy requirement of 100% clean by 2045
- Requires electric companies make major investments in electrification resources that reduce climate pollution and save consumers money, including but not limited to, electrification of transportation, heating systems, appliances and industrial processes.
Initiative Petition 50: Phasing-down Oregon’s Climate Pollution [Strengthen and Enforce Oregon’s Carbon Pollution Limits]
Summary: This initiative updates and enforces Oregon’s existing carbon pollution limits that currently aren’t being met. It requires Oregon to cut its pollution in half by 2035 and to be 100% carbon free by 2050.
- Updates limits on carbon pollution from fossil fuel & industry sources as follows:
- By 2035, achieve greenhouse gas levels that are at least 50 percent below 1990 levels
- By 2050, achieve greenhouse gas levels that are 100 percent below 1990 levels
- Gives state agency authority to develop programs to achieve emissions reductions: Charges the Environmental Quality Commission with adopting rules and programs to ensure compliance with the greenhouse gas emission reduction targets
Gives the Department of Environmental Quality authority to enforce the greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.