Testimony to Environmental Quality Commission on the Climate Protection Program

Alan Journet, January 24th 2024

Thanks to the lawsuit by fossil fuel corporations and Oregon Business and Industry (among others), the Court Appeals ruled that the Climate Protection Program developed by the Department of Environmental Quality in response to Governor Kate Brown’s Executive Order 20-01 (2021) and approved in December 2022 by the Environmental Quality Commission, is invalid. DEQ has decided that it will be quicker to develop a new CPP with a new Rulemaking Advisory Committee rather than appeal the decision to the Supreme Court since the latter approach would likely not be heard until 2025 and may not be effective.

During the Environmental Quality Commission meeting of January 24th, a number of statewide climate activists offered brief comments (the time allowed was 60 seconds) on the importance of reinstating the CPP.

My comments follow:

“My name is Alan Journet; I live in Jacksonville. I testify today as cofacilitator of Southern Oregon Climate Action Now. Some 2,000 strong, we are concerned about the climate crisis and seek and applaud state action to address it.

“The behavior of Oregon fossil fuel companies and Oregon Business and Industry following adoption of the Climate Protection Program by the EQC -in terms of their ongoing efforts to undermine the very program they claimed to engage in developing in good faith -suggests that there never was any good faith.

“We strongly urge reinstatement of the CPP as originally approved. There has already been a massive amount of public input into the process; let’s not waste dollars and time reinventing this wheel. I urge the commission and the agency to resist efforts by those attempting to destroy the CPP. They seem committed to pushing our planet towards the end of life as we know it simply to serve their anti-social business model of maximizing short-term profits while externalizing the cost of their climate pollution.”

The slightly expanded written comments I submitted were:

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Chair George, Vice Chair Baraso, members of the Commission:

I testify here as cofacilitator of Southern Oregon Climate Action Now, an organization of some 2,000 Southern Oregonians who are concerned about the climate crisis and seek and applaud state action to address it. We live on the frontlines of the climate consequences of global warming.

As the Climate Protection Program was being developed following Governor Brown’s Executive Order, I was consistently engaged. This included attending virtually both the early Technical Hearings and the subsequent Rulemaking Advisory Committee meetings. During this process, I submitted many pages of testimony. I was not thrilled with the excessive influence the fossil fuel industry had on these proceedings and would have been happier had some measures in the final CPP been different. However, there is no doubt that the final product represented a substantial step forward in the state’s commitment to addressing Oregon’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The behavior of Oregon fossil fuel corporations and Oregon Business and Industry following adoption of the CPP by the EQC – in terms of their ongoing efforts to undermine the very program they claimed to engage in developing in good faith -suggests that there never was any good faith on their part.

We strongly urge the EQC and DEQ to do what they can to reinstate the CPP as originally approved. There has already been a massive amount of public input into the process; let’s not waste time and taxpayer dollars reinventing this wheel. I urge the commission and the agency to resist current efforts by fossil fuel corporations and Oregon B&I to destroy the CPP. They seem committed to pushing our planet towards the end of life as we know it simply in order to serve their singularly anti-social business model of maximizing short-term profits while externalizing the cost of their climate pollution.

Respectfully Submitted

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This item in the Bend Bulletin describes the debacle pretty well, though it missed by a year the date when the CPP was approved by the Environmental Quality Commission; it was approved in December 2022 not in 2021.

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