CLIMATE ACTION in OREGON
March 11th Update –
Dateline: Salem March 10,2020 – At the state Capitol in Salem, Governor Kate Brown signed Executive Order 20-04 that strengthens the Oregon effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the goal of 75% below the 1990 level established in 2007 by HB3543 to the targets embodied on proposals submitted over the last few years or 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. The focus of the Executive Order was to impose a reducing cap on emission consistent with the overall trajectory identified above. For more details, visit the Oregon Climate Action Plan
March 5th Update – The Oregon 2020 Short Session is over
The 2020 session of the Oregon Legislature was mercifully closed down on Thursday March 5th after Republicans tried one last gambit to recover from the runaway tactic that earned them negative editorial across the state, notably in The Oregonian and the Mail Tribune and a raft of negative opinion columns – in the Tribune and Statesman for example. The Republican ‘offer’ was that they would cherry-pick the proposals on they would agree to a waiver of rules allowing consideration – and kill the rest. Since some 40 bills awaited legislative consideration, bills covering a range of subjects of importance e to Oregonians -including rural Oregonians, the Democratic leadership refused to be cowed by this obvious Republican sham offer and bullying tactic. Undoubtedly becoming just exhausted by the childish anti-democratic behavior, they simply rejected it – thus ending the session. As a result, Senate Bill 1530 again died without a vote – though it would undoubtedly have passed had Republicans not quelled democracy in the state since the majority had the votes to assure this outcome.
Impassioned closing speeches by House Speaker Kotek and Senate President Courtney urged the Governor to call a Special Session to complete unfinished business and to issue Executive Orders to initiate greenhouse gas emissions reductions in the state. The question of what happens to the Ballot Measures remains to be resolved. This will be the topic of discussion among coalition members during the coming week(s).
A discussion of the twenty or so bills Republican shenanigans killed during the 2020 session can be found in The Oregonian.
February 20th Updates
During an earlier meeting of the House Committee on Energy and Environment, passed HB4167, a duplicate bill to SB1530 and referred it to the House Committee on Rules. The great advantage to this move is that bills in the Rules Committee are not subject to the same critical and urgent deadline schedule as bills before other committees, and can be brought to the floor at any time during the session. This ‘insurance’ policy against untoward actions against SB1530 turned out to be prescient and critical since obstacles to SB1530 were thrown up and that bill was pulled from discussion by the Ways and Means sub-committee on Natural Resources. As a result, its passage has been delayed. However, this bill was passed out of that sub-committee on Wednesday and now goes to the full Ways and Means Committee where it could be discussed as soon as Friday (21st). From there it would go to the floor of the chambers. The House Committee on Rules held several meetings today, culminating in a Public Hearing from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. It is not clear to me from visiting the committee page whether that proposal was then discussed in and a vote taken. However, the expectation is that once through Rules, the proposal will then be sent to Ways & Means, which is why messages to W &M should refer to both SB1530 and HB 4167.
February 17th Updates
Urgent (instant – today) need for contact to member of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means and Legislative Leaders urging their support for SB1530. The W & M sub-committee on Natural Resources meets at 3:00 pm today (17th) and the full committee meets at 11:00 am tomorrow (18th) to consider the bill. Members need to know that:
(1) you write to them since as members of this committee they represent their chamber, and thus your representatives and you,
(2) as a rural Oregonian you can see the disastrous effects of climate change and,
(3) you want a rigorous program to place Oregon on a downward trajectory of emissions and thus you support SB1530.
Versions of the current bill(s) are available here: SB1530 as introduced; SB1530-2 omnibus amendment (meaning it contains many amendments combined in one package) ; the SB 1530-27 second round of amendments, and the final SB1530-35 amendments that were embodied in the bill that was recommended out, plus a summary of the final amendments by champion and Committee Chair Senator Michael Dembrow. HB4167 – The House version of SB1530. As a yet unexplained curiosity, HB 4159, as introduced, seems to be duplicate of an earlier version of SB1530 which has been replaced by a different bill.
SOCAN Comments on HB4167 This bill is identical to SB1530-35 but since testimony does not carry over from Senate to House COmmittee for a bill with a different number, the basic testimony was submitted again.
SOCAN Comments on SB1530 -35 02-15-2020. Unfortunately, the proposal is not as strong as we’d like since it (a) retains the 80% below 1990 levels target for 2050 rather than the net zero emissions target that the IPCC recommended and we know we need, (b) focuses only on emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels rather then the full life cycle emissions – thus overlooking the fugitive emissions (leakage) of methane from extraction, processing, and transmission of fossil (natural) gas, and (c) slips into errant language focusing on carbon emissions rather than greenhouse gas emissions when addressing natural gas, and (d) the transportation sector does not include rural Oregon counties until either they vote to join the program or 23 counties endorse the program and it becomes statewide. However, the fact that we know the need exists for programs that impose a steep reduction trajectory on greenhouse gas emissions and SB1530 certainly does this leads us to urge its passage.
SOCAN Comments on SB1530 -27 02-07-2020 the 2020 Oregon Senate proposal penultimate draft. Modeled on the 2019 HB2020 Cap, Trade, and Invest proposal, this is a modified version that authors hope will address Republican and opposition concerns. It seems to have been written with substantial input from the opposition and, as a result, initially was nowhere near as strong a proposal as we need. However, with input and consideration, it has been improved to the point that we, somewhat reluctantly, support it.
SOCAN Comments on LC19 the original draft for the 2020 session issued in late 2019.
SB1530 was passed out of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources on February 13th and forwarded directly to the Joint Ways & Means Committee. It was assigned immediately to the W & M subcommittee on Natural Resources which will consider it on Monday 17th at 3:00 pm. From there it will pass to the full W & M committee where it is scheduled to be discussed on Tuesday February 18th at 11:00 am. As can be seen, in the short session, things move quickly – or not at all.
For members on both committees, there’s no need to send your message twice.
If you have time, similar encouragement to legislative leaders (contacts below) would also be helpful.
Joint House/Senate Ways & Means Committee
Co-Chair Betsy Johnson: Sen.BetsyJohnson@oregonlegislature.gov D
Senate Co-Chair Elizabeth Steiner Hayward: Sen.ElizabethSteinerHayward@oregonlegislature.gov D
House Co-Chair Dan Rayfield: Rep.DanRayfield@oregonlegislature.gov D
Senate Co -Vice Chair: Sen.FredGirod@oregonlegislature.gov R
House Co -Vice Chair: Rep.DavidGomberg@oregonlegislature.gov D
Co -Vice Chair: Greg Smith: email@example.com R
Lee Beyer: Sen.LeeBeyer@oregonlegislature.gov D
Denyc Boles: Sen.DenycBoles@oregonlegislature.gov R
Lew Frederick: Sen.LewFrederick@oregonlegislature.gov D
Bill Hansell: Sen.BillHansell@oregonlegislature.gov R
Dallas Heard: firstname.lastname@example.org R
Laurie Monnes-Anderson: Sen.LaurieMonnesAnderson@oregonlegislature.gov D
Arnie Roblan: Sen.ArnieRoblan@oregonlegislature.gov D
Chuck Thomsen: Sen.ChuckThomsen@oregonlegislature.gov R
Rob Wagner: Sen.RobWagner@oregonlegislature.gov D
Christine Drazan: Rep.ChristineDrazan@oregonlegislature.gov R House Leader
Paul Holvey: Rep.PaulHolvey@oregonlegislature.gov D
Susan McLain: email@example.com D
Rob Nosse: Rep.RobNosse@oregonlegislature.gov D
Carla Piluso: firstname.lastname@example.org D
Duane Stark: email@example.com R
Joint Ways & Means Sub-Committee on Natural Resources (listed 3rd simply because the meeting may already have passed by the time you submit comments)
Senate Co-Chair: Kathleen Taylor firstname.lastname@example.org D
House Co-Chair Rep.JeffReardon@oregonlegislature.gov D
Lew Frederick: Sen.LewFrederick@oregonlegislature.gov D
Fred Girod: Sen.FredGirod@oregonlegislature.gov R
Vikki Breese-Iverson: email@example.com R
Cedric Haydn firstname.lastname@example.org R
Paul Holvey Rep.PaulHolvey@oregonlegislature.gov D
Courtney Neron Rep.CourtneyNeron@oregonlegislature.gov D
Senate President Peter Courtney: 503-986-1600, email@example.com
Democratic Senate Leader Ginny Burdick: 503-986-1700, Sen.GinnyBurdick@oregonlegislature.gov
Senate Speaker Pro Tem Laurie Monnes Anderson: 503-986-1725 Sen.LaurieMonnesAnderson@oregonlegislature.gov
Republican Leader Herman Baertschiger Jr: 503-986-1702, Sen.HermanBaertschiger@oregonlegislature.gov a firm Jospehine County opponent, but needs to hear from rural Oregon
House Speaker Tina Kotek 503-986-1200 Rep.TinaKotek@oregonlegislature.gov
Speaker Pro Tem Paul Holvey 503-986-1408 Rep.PaulHolvey@oregonlegislature.gov
Democratic Leader Barbara Smith Warner 503-986-1445 Rep.BarbaraSmithWarner@oregonlegislature.gov
Republican Leader Christine Drazan 503-986-1439 Rep.ChristineDrazan@oregonlegislature.gov another firm opponent, but also needs to hear from rural Oregon
February 13th Update on the Climate Emergency Action Day
SB 1530 was discussed several times in the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, including three sessions conducted as Public Hearings to accept testimony from the public. Although opponents promoting the lies and disinformation of industrial organizations dominated the February 6th hearing, proponents dominated the hearing son Feb 4th and 8th. Then, on February 11th, and huge crowd of over 1,000 Oregonians massed on the Capitol steps in a Climate Emergency Day of Action Rally to demonstrate in favor of passage of SB1530. The crowd included over 40 rural representatives from Southern Oregon in a delegation organized by Southern Oregon Climate Action Now, including representatives from Coastal SOCAN. Following the rally, several members of the delegation visited Senator Jeff Golden and Representative Pam Marsh to express appreciation for their stalwart efforts in support of meaningful
greenhouse gas emissions reduction legislation. Others visited a hearing held by the House Committee on Energy and Environment where HB4105 was being discussed. This proposal would ban fossil fuel infrastructure (extraction, processing, transport) from state lands, and require those transporting hazardous fossil fuel in railroad cars to inform local authorities of their imminent arrival.
As anticipated, SB1530 passed the Senate Committee on February and was forwarded to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means. Since this is the short (35 day) session, for bills to be successful, they have to move through committee and floor votes very quickly.
The next step is to encourage members of the Joint (House/Senate) Ways and Means committee, especially the Natural Resources sub-committee, to recommend the bill ‘Do Pass.’ SEE ABOVE for contacts.
Additional Relevant Materials
Information on the Ballot Measures Addressing Climate Pollution If the legislature fails to pass a meaningful proposal meeting the principles of the statewide coalition, Plan B is a series of Ballot Measures designed to achieve the necessary emissions reduction goals.
Discussion of the Cap versus the Tax/Fee Approach to limiting Greenhouse Gas emissions We generally think of the main options for addressing greenhouse gas emissions as falling either under under the ‘Tax/Fee and Dividend’ or the ‘Cap & Trade (& Invest)’ rubric. However, this view is somewhat simplistic since the solutions are more varied than just those choices. This summary addresses the cap versus tax/fee approach to limiting emissions and what the subsequent choices are to deal with any funds raised.
The Carbon Mistake The concept of ‘pricing carbon’ is frequently used in connection with reducing greenhouse gas emissions as though targeting ‘carbon emissions’ is equivalent too targeting ‘greenhouse gas emissions.’ This discussion explores where ‘carbon’ is an appropriate term to use, and where it is inadequate or may actually be counter-productive.
January 15th 2020 Update
Oregon Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Legislation:
Since the weak link for HB2020 in 2019 was the Oregon Senate, the consensus seems to be that any successful proposal should come from the Senate. Consistent with this view, a group of five Senators developed a proposal during the Interim (period between sessions) that is based on the 2019 HB2020 proposal but modified substantially to address many of the concerns expressed by the opponents. The five Senators are Dembrow , Taylor, Roblan, Beyer, and Girod.
While LC19 is based on the same goals as HB2020 (emissions 45% below 1990 by 2035 and 80% below 1990 level by 2050), several aspects of the proposal are quite troubling. Addressing these formed the basis of the SOCAN testimony (linked above).
The issues of prime concern are:
1- We now know that a goal of net zero emissions by 2050 is needed if we are to have a chance at keeping the temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Centigrade (2.7 degrees F).
2 – The general principle that a program should be statewide and economy wide is undermined.
3 -While we recognize that some industries in the state are Energy Intensive or Trade Exposed (would be exposed to competition from like-manufacturers in states without a GHG emissions pricing program), and acknowledge the merit of offering such industries a mechanism for reducing excessive costs, we are also concerned that the allocation of an undue number of free allowances to such entities will compromise both the ability of the program to achieve its targets and the funds raised for investment in Oregon (emissions reduction activities, carbon capture and sequestration projects, and addressing social injustice).
4 – While we also recognize that it is reasonable to incorporate into the program protections for utility ratepayers in order to avoid large price increases, we also do not think the provision of substantial free allowances to utilities should be embedded in the program a priori to protect against rate increases since rate increases have not occurred elsewhere when greenhouse gas emissions pricing programs have been instituted.
5 – While we also appreciate the merit of protecting transportation fossil fuel users from undue price increases, we do not this the program should be based on the assumption that such price increases will inevitably occur since the evidence suggests that an emissions price on transportation fuels does not necessarily result on along term price increases.
6 – Historically, some communities or Oregonians have experienced greater suffering from climate change than others, and have experienced greater pollution from industry than others. We recognize, therefore, that efforts to reduce emissions should not be conducted at the expense of such communities. In our view, the program should state in a clear and concerted manner that a proportion of the funds raised from the sale of pollution allowances should be allocated to redressing this injustice.
It is our hope that LC0019 can be improved substantially before the session starts so SOCAN can enthusiastically support it.
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions assessment review
In 2019, Oregon’s DEQ invited comments on a proposal to review GHG emissions assessments. Since greenhouse gas emissions proposals historically and currently developed focus on Greenhouse Gas emissions that are Regulated by DEQ, it is appropriate that GHG assessments be expanded to include aspects of the state economy not currently regulated. In order to redress this, it is important that DEQ develop protocols that would allow inclusion into the statewide greenhouse gas flux assessment emissions and sequestration of greenhouse gases in our forests and through our agricultural activities. SOCAN therefore developed testimony to submit to DEQ to urge the development of such protocols. This testimony was developed in collaboration with KS Wild, Our Family Farms (OFF), and the Oregon Climate and Agriculture Network (OrCAN). It was also endorsed by the Oregon Climate and Agriculture Network, Pollinator Project, Rogue Valley and Josephine Climate Alliance.
The testimony can be found here: DEQ GHG rules SOCAN – KSWild – OFF – OrCAN
September 29th 2019 Update
Since the 2019 Oregon Legislative Session ended, New York has passed a much more aggressive program, The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). This includes a net zero greenhouse gas emissions goal by 2050 with assessment using the 20-year basis rather than the 100-year basis. It is neither a cap nor a tax/fee proposal but simply sets goals and assigns responsibility for writing the program to a legislative committee.
In Oregon, considerations as to what should happen next are still underway:
The evidence suggests that a bill, maybe HB2020 or something very close to it, will be introduced into the 2020 (short) session. Though the short session is conventionally limited to consideration of fiscal or urgent issues and ‘unfinished business,’ there is little doubt that a bill failing to receive a vote in the 2019 session because Republicans walked out the the Senate Chamber and, indeed, the State satisfies the requirements for ‘unfinished business.’
Meanwhile, there continues discussion about ballot measure options and optimism that the governor might impose some aspects of HB 2020 through Executive Authority.
How was HB2020 thwarted in 2019?
The main reason for the failure of HB2020 to receive Senate endorsement was a campaign of lies and misinformation about the impact of the Climate Action Program contained within HB2020 that was developed by industry and spread by Republicans, bill opponents, and those who reject the science (and it was difficult to tell them apart). In particular, this campaign stimulated irrational fear among Oregonians that the program would tank the economy despite an economic analysis on the bill that showed it would be beneficial to the state’s economy. This campaign also argued the program would result in large increases in utility and fuel bills despite the evidence from other states with similar such programs produce neither outcome. In addition, the opponents generated the farcical frame that the proposal represented an effort by Portland Liberals to impose pain on the rest of the state despite the fact that HB2020 included multiple opportunities for investment in rural Oregon that would benefit economically disadvantaged regions of the state. These were compiled by Senator Michael Dembrow here: Why HB2020 is Good for Rural Oregon – Dembrow. Republicans also argued that they had been excluded from discussion and offering contributions to the final version of the proposal, despite the list of some 17 items proposed by Senator Bentz and Republicans that were included. Though Republicans, it was claimed by some, accept the science, they staunchly behaved throughout the discussion and negotiations on HB 2020 as though they are flat-earthers and hold beliefs of science denial parallel to their federal counterparts.
HB 2020, the proposal to establish an Oregon Climate Action Program, often known as the Clean Energy Jobs Bill, was approved in the Oregon House Monday June 17, 2019 by a 36:24 vote when only two Democrats sided with the Republican block in opposition. It then moved to the Senate where it passed through the standard first two readings prior to the final third reading and vote – or would have…. However, because of their universal opposition to the bill even after serving on the full range of committees that developed and discussed it, in an effort to turn Oregon into a banana state and make us the laughing stock of the nation (if not the democratic world), Republican Senators decided to abdicate their responsibility of representing Oregonians. They left the chamber and the state. As a result there remained no quorum in the chamber (the quorum is 20 and there are but 18 Democrats). Thus, no business could be conducted. At the reluctant request of Senate President Peter Courtney, the Governor exerted her constitutional authority to request that the state police seek Senators and return them to the Capitol. Republican Senators remained firm in their refusal to return to the chamber and do their jobs until Senate leadership declared there were insufficient votes to pass the bill. It is not clear how accurate that statement was, but the statement finally drew Republicans back to the Capitol on Saturday June 29th whereupon a frantic round of action resulted in passage of a number of other bills, but HB2020 simply died. The 2019 Legislative Session ended on Sunday June 30th without any climate action.
Since then, Governor Kate Brown has announced that she is prepared to use whatever executive authority she can muster to move climate action forward in Oregon. The SOCAN Press Release on these events is available here: PRESS RELEASE – HB2020 2019
It is not clear what the next steps will be – but we (the statewide coalition and concerned legislators) will certainly not forget our responsibility to future generations. Our commitment to achieving greenhouse gas emissions reduction in Oregon is steadfast. There are at least four possible routes forward:
- Reintroduce a Climate Action Program in the 2020 short session.
- Encourage the Governor to exert her Executive Authority to implement what aspects of HB2020 she is able to implement.
- Develop one or more ballot measures to introduce for the 2020 November election that would achieve the goals of the Climate Action Program proposal (HB2020) from 2019.
- Develop a modified proposal that essentially achieves the goals of the Climate Action Program proposal but is acceptable to some Republicans.
The relative advantages/disadvantages of these proposals are too extensive (and some too sensitive) to present here, but I will try to incorporate them as time passes.
It is not yet clear which of these is the optimal proposal.
The Recent Update:
Once HB2020A Engrossed was finally approved in the Joint Ways and Means committee with amendments. It then became HB2020B Engrossed.
After an extensive series of efforts by Senator Betsy Johnson (Democrat, Senate District 16) and and Republicans to derail HB 2020 in the Joint Ways and Means Committee, with an assault of amendments none of which was designed to improve the program but all of which were designed to undermine and delay it, the bill passed out of the Joint House/Senate Committee on Ways & Means on a 13:8 vote with a positive recommendation. From there it moved to the House floor (Monday June 17). Here, it was again assaulted by Republicans with a series of absurd proposals designed simply to kill the bill:
Motion to re-fer to Ways and Means failed. Ayes, 22; Nays, 37
Motion to refer to Health Care failed. Ayes, 22; Nays, 38
Motion to refer to Transportation failed. Ayes, 24; Nays, 3
Motion to refer to Revenue failed. Ayes, 22; Nays, 38
Motion to refer to Energy and Environment failed. Ayes, 22; Nays, 35
Motion to postpone indefinitely failed. Ayes, 24; Nays, 36
Note the pattern. 22 Republicans consistently voted against a livable planet for future generations. Meanwhile, on occasions one or two Democrats joined them.
Then finally, the actual vote: Passed. Ayes, 36; Nays, 24
As you can see, the 38:22 Democratic Majority in the House was compromised by two voting ‘Nay’ with the Republicans, but PASS it did. Now, the bill is referred to the Senate. According to protocol, the bill goes through a sequence of ‘readings.’ The first occurs when it is introduced (scheduled for June 18), a second follows (presumably June 19), and this is followed by the third and final reading (probably June 20 or 21). It is during the third reading (as was the case in the House today), that the amendments / motions are introduced from the floor, so we can anticipate that Republicans will mount a parallel assault to that which they mounted in the House, hoping to whittle away 3 Democrats – enough to defeat the measure. The prognosis is less rosy in the Senate since the D:R ratio is only 18:12 and we can only afford only two defections.
To support the positive vote, we (SOCAN) have sent each Senator likely to support HB2020 a copy of the SOCAN Climate Trends, Projections, and Consequences Summary for their district (available at https://socan.eco/oregon-legislative-districts/, scroll down to and click on ‘Resources’). These were also provided to all House members prior to the House vote. Since each Senate District contains exactly two House Districts, this was easily accomplished.
The tenuous nature of te Senate means we need to encourage constituents to make contact as soon as possible (see above)
The letter of support for HB 2020 drafted by Renew Oregon and endorsed by some fifty environmental, labor, and social justice organizations across the state is here: HB2020A Engrossed support document with 50 organizational endorsements.
A 24-page summary of HB2020A Engrossed Section-by-section; Sorry it’s so long (about 25% the length of the Engrossed bill).
For reference, the bill was passed out of the Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction (Friday May 17th) on a party line 8:5 vote as follows:
Bentz (R) Nay
|Bonham (R) Nay|
Beyer (D) Aye
|Boshart Davis (R) Nay|
Dembrow (D) Aye
|Helm D Aye|
Girod (R) Nay
Lively (D) Aye
|Golden (D) Aye||
Marsh (D) Aye
|Olsen (R) Excused||
Power (D) Aye
|Taylor (D) Aye||
Brock Smith (R) Nay
Regrettably, while protecting our planet for future generations and all the life it supports, including our agriculture, forestry, and fisheries, should not be a partisan issue, it is.
HB2020-94 is availablehere while a 25 page section-by-section summary is available here: HB2020-94 Section-by-section – AJ. A Guest Column (Updated climate bill contains many protections) by Alan Journet promoting HB2020-84 appeared in the Medford Mail Tribune on May 19th, 2019.
HB2020-84 The previous omnibus amendment has been released. It is available here;the expectation is for a committee vote Friday May 17th. A deal has been worked out – as you may know – that the Democrats gave up gun control and vaccination bills in exchange for Republicans returning to the floor. HB2020, however, was never on the bargaining table since House and Srnate leadership and the Governor are giving it high priority. In terms of the quorum fracas – the Rules of The House, (1) A quorum of the House is forty members. (2) If a quorum is present, the House shall proceed to transact its business. If there is no quorum present, a lesser number of members may adjourn from day to day and compel the attendance of absent members. For House Committees, (1) A majority of the members of a committee shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business before the committee, provided, however, that each committee may by rule designate a lesser number of its members as a quorum for receiving public testimony.
The Oregon Environmental Council / Renew Oregon hybrid Press Release based on HB2020-84 is availablehere. While nothing is ever guaranteed until the votes are cast and counted, there is every optimism that this will be recommended ‘Do Pass’ by the Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction, where it was developed, but it’s still worth sending an email to (or telephoning) members of the Joint Committee (Contact Information) to encourage their support. Once out of the Joint Committee, the bill is then scheduled to move to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means (W & M) from which it must also emerge with a favorable recommendation. It is not yet clear to which Ways and Means subcommittee it will be assigned (Natural Resources or Capital Construction). Assuming a positive recommendation from W & M it will thence move to the floor of each chamber. When it moves to Joint Ways and Means, we should start contacting members, first of the sub-committee, and then the whole committee to urge support (Contact Information).
Climate Day of Action – May 29th
Climate Day of Action in Salem attracted over 200 Oregonians to the Capitol to rally for and lobby for HB2020. A dozen Southern Oregonians joined the contingent via car-pool. To counter the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the car-pool excursion, SOCAN purchased offsets. For a brief report of the excursion, click here.
Guest Column by Pam Marsh and Jeff Golden: The case for pricing greenhouse emissions
Final SOCAN testimony submitted in support of HB 2020: 2019_05_09 JCCR testimony
Economic Analysis of HB2020:
David Roland-Holst, Samuel Evans, Samuel Neal, and Drew Behnke, 2019: Roland-Holst 2019 Oregon’s Cap & Trade Economic Analysis
Despite a population of just 4 million, Oregon’s clean energy economy ranks 14th in solar jobs and in the top 21 in energy efficiency, wind energy, clean fuels, grid and storage, renewable energy, and total clean energy jobs.
Actions to Promote Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Legislation in Oregon
Contact your State Representatives, Legislative Leaders, Joint Committee and other relevant committee members to support the legislation Contact Information
Talk to friends, family and others about the legislation
February 2019 Hearings
A series of Hearings was held around the state during which testimony was received by the committee. This has been reviewed and turned into an omnibus amendment HB2020-31 that essentially replaces the original bill.
To download the complete first omnibus amendment, visit here: HB2020-31 omnibus amendment.
For an 18-page summary of the new bill from the Governor’s Carbon Policy Office, visit here: HB220-31 Amendment section-by-section CPO
For a two-page summary of the changes in the omnibus amendment prepared by Renew Oregon, visit here: HB 2020 Two-Pager on HB2020-31 Amendment March 25 2019
Discussion of the original Bill
HB 2020 Bill released Jan 31, 2019. Draft of Oregon Climate Action Program bill
HB 2020 2019 2-page Oregon Climate Action Program (2-page summary by Alan Journet)
HB 2020 2019 Oregon Climate Action Proposal Section-by-section notes on bill by Alan Journet
The proposed Oregon Climate Action Program will regulate entities responsible annually for over 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent regulated emissions. This means emissions currently reported to the Department of Environmental Quality. The list comprises 90 entities of which 23 are designated as potential Emissions Intensive – Trade Exposed companies (EI – TE) that will receive free allowance in the first year (2021) calculated on the basis of emissions per good manufactured, with the number of allowances reducing annually as the cap lowers.
Of the 90 listed, only Dry Creek Landfill is in Jackson County, only Gas Transmission Northwest (a pipeline) is in Klamath County, and none is in Josephine or Curry Counties. However, if the Dry Creek Landfill emissions are Methane emissions that are demonstrated to have been recaptured and used for the generation of renewable energy, including but not limited to electricity, transportation fuels or heat, they will be exempt (Section 10).
Points to Make in Committee Testimony and Letters
HB2020 Points to Make in oral / written testimony from Alan Journet (SOCAN), and Renew Oregon
Policy Outcomes Statement
Policy Outcomes Statement developed by Statewide Coalition of Grassroots Climate Activist Organizations as a set of principles against which the bill will be measured.
History of Oregon’s 2019 Climate Action Program (Clean Energy Jobs)
As the 2018 Oregon Legislative Session drew to a close, Senate President (Peter Courtney), House Speaker (Tina Kotek) and Governor Kate Brown agreed to make passage of a meaningful greenhouse gas emissions reduction policy for Oregon a high priority for the 2019 Legislative Session. As a result, Governor Brown established a Governor’s Advisory Carbon Policy Office. Former Oregon Climate Solutions Director and one our climate coalitions strongest activists, Kristen Sheeran Ph.D. was appointed Director of this office.
Meanwhile, Speaker Kotek and President Courtney established the House/Senate Joint Interim Committee on Carbon Reduction to develop legislation that would achieve meaningful reductions. Titled an Interim Committee because it met monthly between sessions with Speaker Kotek and President Courtney as Co-Chairs, the committee is now simply the Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction (membership and contact list) as the Speaker and President have withdrawn to manage their respective chambers. Senator Michael Dembrow and Representative Karen Power are now co-chairs, with Kotek and Courtney being replaced respectively on the committee by House District 5 Representative Pam Marsh, and District 3 Senator Jeff Golden. Thus Southern Oregon is well-represented with two champions for meaningful legislation that does not exclude the Jordan Cove LNG Export facility and Pacific Connector Natural Gas Pipeline from coverage by the bill.
With the commitment on the part of the Governor and House and Senate leadership that a bill will pass in 2019, the Statewide Coalition of Grassroots Climate Activist Organizations led by Renew Oregon and partnered by representatives from social justice /equity organizations and labor, developed a set of Policy Outcomes representing the principles that we wish to see incorporated in the bill and by which we will judge the bill when it appears. Note that this document does not focus on carbon or decarbonization but on greenhouse gases and their elimination. Carbon dioxide is only mentioned in connection with its sequestration in natural and working lands. This language is consistent with the 2105 Paris Agreement, which is all about greenhouse gases and only mentions carbon appropriately in connection with forest management. The reason for this is that a focus on carbon (dioxide) gives nitrous oxide (one of the top three culprit gases) a free pass, and undervalues the impact of other carbon-containing gases (such as methane and the fluorocarbons) which are more potent than carbon dioxide. The potential consequence of this is that the program (if it focuses on carbon (dioxide) will encourage coal-fired power plants and oil-powered vehicles to switch to natural gas. And because of the fugitive emissions of natural gas from fracking, through processing and transmission, are sufficiently large, such a conversion may produce a global warming problem as bad as, or worse, than, previously.
Video of the SOCAN PPT presentation on the legislation from the January 29th SOCAN General meeting
Acknowledgement: Bella Tibbetts
2019 Clean Energy Jobs Coalition Policy Outcomes: Summarized by Alan Journet
Oregon Climate Impacts: 2019 is The Year for Bold Climate Legislation An excellent discussion of Oregon’s history and the proposal from Juan Declet-Barreto, Climate Scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists.
The Joint Committee
The First Meeting was held on May 22, 2018. This was an informational Hearing lasting app two and a half house. Video (2 hr 27 min) is available to download here. Scroll down to Recent Archives and look for the date – May 22nd Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction, click and follow directions. Presentations are:
Baseline Facts of Climate Change
Phil Mote, Director, Oregon Climate Change Research Institute
Understanding Oregon’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions – History, Trends, and What Oregon is Already Doing
Richard Whitman, Director, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Carbon Reduction Policy Options for Oregon
Dallas Burtraw, Darius Gaskins Senior Fellow, Resources for the Future
Second Meeting, June 26th, an informational meeting with invited speakers, video (2 hr 26 min) available here.
- Questions and Follow-Up Discussion of Carbon Reduction Policy Options for Oregon
Dallas Burtraw, Darius Gaskins Senior Fellow, Resources for the Future (via telephone)
- Status Report from the Carbon Policy Office
Kristen Sheeran, Energy and Climate Change Policy Advisor to Governor Kate Brown; Director, Carbon Policy Office
- Forest Carbon Sequestration
Peter Daugherty, State Forester, Oregon Department of Forestry
Third Meeting, July 24th an informational meeting with invited speakers, video (3 Hr 13 min) available here: Sequestration and Adaptation on Working Lands
Catherine Macdonald, Director of Policy & External Affairs, The Nature Conservancy
David Ford, Woodland Committee, American Forest Foundation; President and CEO, L&C Carbon, LLC
Brian Kittler, Director, Western Regional Office, Pinchot Institute
Peter Ruggiero, Professor, College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University
Bill Ryan, Deputy Director for Operations, Department of State Lands
Laura Brophy, Director, Estuary Technical Group, Institute for Applied Ecology; Courtesy Faculty, Marine Resource Management Program, College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University
Cory Owens, State Soil Scientist, Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Nick Sirovatka, Agronomist, Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Tony Svejcar, Professor – Senior Research, Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center, Oregon State University.