Federal and State Resources

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Federal

The Biden Administration

FACT SHEET: President Biden Takes Executive Actions to Tackle the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, Create Jobs, and Restore Scientific Integrity Across Federal Government – January 27, 2021

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

Thanks to internationally recognized climate scientists Dr. Michael Mann from Penn State University for a climate perspective

Good: $50 billion in climate resilience funding will protect people from the storms, droughts, floods and other extreme weather events made worse by climate change

But…

  • $15b support for delusional Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology thus promoting coal
  • Undermines environmental review process compromising frontline communities
  • Exempts oil and gas pipelines on federal land from environmental assessment
  • Calls for logging 30 million acres of national forest with $1.6b subsidy
  • Only budgeted 1/3rd of the $45b promised for lead pipe replacement

Notably: Senators receiving substantial funding from Exxon-Mobil comprised 1/3rd of the bi-partisan committee

The Reconciliation Bill

Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions $726 b
Civilian Climate Corps funding

Committee on Energy and Natural Resources $198 b
Clean Electricity Payment Program
Consumer rebates to weatherize and electrify homes
Federal procurement of energy efficient materials
Climate research

Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry $135 b
Agriculture conservation, drought, and forestry programs to help reduce carbon emissions and prevent wildfires
Agricultural climate research and research infrastructure
Civilian Climate Corps funding.

Committee on Commerce, Science, and Technology $83 b
Coastal resiliency, healthy oceans investments, including the National Oceans and Coastal Security Fund and technology directorate
National Science Foundation research and technology directorate

Committee on Environment and Public Works $67 b
Clean Energy Technology Accelerator that would fund low-income solar and other climate-friendly technologies
Environmental justice investments in clean water affordability and access, healthy ports and climate equity
EPA climate and research programs
Federal investments in energy efficient buildings and green materials
Investments in clean vehicles

Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs $37 b
Electrifying the federal vehicle fleet (USPS and Non-USPS)
Electrifying and rehabilitating federal buildings

Committee on Indian Affairs $20.5 b
Native energy programs
Native resilience and climate programs
Native Civilian Climate Corps

Hold the Line on Climate Spending

In the discussion about the Build Back Better (Reconciliation) Act, there is pressure to reduce the overall cost from the current $3.5 trillion in order to secure Senate passage.  Please urge our Oregon Congressional Delegation to retain the $700 billion for climate action.  We are already way late in addressing the climate crisis, we cannot afford to reduce this commitment.

Senator Ron Wyden https://www.wyden.senate.gov/contact/
Senator Jeff Merkley  http://www.merkley.senate.gov/contact/

Oregon CD 1 – Suzanne Bonamici https://bonamici.house.gov/
Oregon CD 2 – Cliff Bentz  https://cliffbentz.com/contact/
Oregon CD 3 – Earl Blumenauer  https://blumenauer.house.gov/
Oregon Cd 4 – Peter DeFazio https://defazio.house.gov/contact/contact-peter
Oregon CD 5 – Kurt Schrader https://schrader.house.gov/contact/

Importance of Agencies –

We ted to focus our attention on what the White House and Congress do, but the agencies are also impoartant. For example, in the Trump era (for example):

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): pursued an aggressive agenda, seeking to “suspend, revise, or rescind [regulations] that unduly burden the development of domestic energy resources,” including limits on carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity sector. Challenged CA clean fuel rules

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC): imposed measures that increase the bid prices of renewable resources to counteract perceived subsidies resulting from such policies.  Recently D chair has expressed climate concern, composition may change this year; FERC has authority to impose a price on GHG emissions

Meanwhile:

Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS): Conservative majority may reverse Massachusetts vs EPA (2007), the decision that  confirmed that EPA has authority to regulate GHG emissions

2021 Congress

H.R.2307 – Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2021

Introduced by Ted Deutch (D – FL); Referred to: Ways and Means; Energy and Commerce; Foreign Affairs

  • Imposes a $15 fee (adjusted for inflation & rising by $10 annually) on the GHG (CO2e) content of fuels, including crude oil, natural gas, coal, or any other product derived from those fuels that will be used so as to emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
  • Targets extraction / processing or importer (upstream)
  • Full life cycle emissions assessment
  • Exempts military, agriculture or non-emitting uses
  • Offers rebates for capturing or sequestering CO2.  Although the photosynthetic capture of carbon dioxide is well established, the much promoted (by fossil fuel corporations) carbon capture, (use) and storage (ccs or ccus to make it seem more positive) is a crock.  Not only is the technology not demonstrated on a commercial level, but a dominant ‘use’ of the captured carbon dioxide is to pump it under pressure through pipelines (which inevitably leak) for use in the extraction of more fossil fuel.
  • Border adjustment to refund the tax imposed on exported fuels, and negate emissions taxes imposed in the nation of extraction.
  • Program decommissioned when emissions drop to 10% of 2010 level

A Carbon Dividend Trust Fund is established to distribute the funds raised as monthly rebate payments to citizens and lawful residents.

The emissions trajectory from the bill is depicted in this table:

Which I (AJ) graphed here:

 

Although the graph suggests that by 2050, emissions would reach zero, the clause that decommissions the program when emissions drop to 10% of 2010 level means that the program would be decommissioned in 2047 when emissions drop from their 2046 level of 12% to 9% in 2047.  Thus net zero is never achieved.

A second concern is whether the fee structure of $15 per ton raising by $10 annually is likely to achieve the trajectory and goal suggested.  The answer to this question is: probably not! When the Oregon legislature was considering a carbon (greenhouse gas emissions) pricing policy in 2013, instead of passing it, they funded a study conducted by the Portland State University Northwest Economics Research Center on the economic impacts of such a plan.  The subsequent report: Economic and Emissions Impacts of a Clean Air Tax or Fee in Oregon (SB306) concluded that in order to achieve the downward emissions trajectory embodies in Oregon’s 2007 (HB3543) voluntary emissions reduction target (75% below 1990 level by 2050) the fee per ton of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions would need to be imposed above $150 per ton. 

The target of 75% below the 1990 emissions of 58 Million Metric Tons (MMT) of CO2e is 14.5 MMT.  As this graph indicates, even with a fee of $150 per ton, emissions drop until around 2028 and then rise again.   In Oregon, even $150 is inadequate to stimulate the trajectory established in the 2007 legislation.   There is no reason to think that the Oregon energy economy is sufficiently different from the rest of the nation that HR2307 fee of $15 a ton rising by $10 increment annually will remotely achieve the designated trajectory or goal.

The evidence is clear that if we hope to prevent the worst outcomes of global warming that crossing a myriad of tipping points would impose, we absolutely must restrict warming to 1.5⁰C pre-industrial conditions.  The latest (2021) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report (AR6) indicates clearly that to limit warming to that level, we have an emission budget from 2020 of 500 Gigatons (for a 50% chance, of 400 GT for a 66% chance and of 300 GT for an 83% chance.  Our deadline for reaching net zero, then is 2030, 2028, or 2026 depending on what percentage risk we wish to bear.

While HR2037 demonstrates commitment on the part of its sponsors to address the climate crisis, it almost certainly fails to offer a trajectory that would achieve the reductions we need.

S.938 – Climate Emergency Act of 2021

This was introduced by Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) and referred to Environment and Public Works

The proposal would require the President to declare a national emergency relating to climate change under the National Emergencies Act, and for other purposes…

  • expanding access to clean and affordable energy
  • modernizing and retrofitting infrastructure
  • investing in public health in preparation for extreme climactic events;
  • protecting and restoring natural systems
  • supporting farmers and rural communities (regenerative agriculture)
  • transforming the industrial base of U.S. economy with clean energy technologies, reducing industrial pollution, employing clean domestic manufacturing
  • Promoting a just transition
  • Reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions
  • Promoting resilience to climate change
  • Supporting small businesses (especially minority and women)
  • Expand public services

Polluters Pay Climate Fund Act

Senators Van Hollen (D – MD), Sanders (I -VT), Markey (D -MA), Whitehouse (D -RI, Warren (D – MA)

  • $500 billion over ten years from U.S. fossil fuel corporations
  • ExxonMobil, BP, Shell, and Chevron – $5 to 6 b pa = < 3% of their annual revenue
  • Funds to assist those affected by climate change

SOCAN Board Endorses the Green New Deal

State

Oregon’s 2021 Legislative Session A discussion of the session outcome and the bills that SOCAN supported or opposed during the 2021 legislative session with links to bill language, status, and Committee Hearings where oral or written public testimony can be undertaken.

SOCAN Engagement in Oregon Climate Action Plan (Governor Brown’s Executive Order 20-04)

2020 Southern Oregon Candidate Interviews on Climate and Environment

Clean Energy Jobs Bill 2018-2020 – History

Jordan Cove Terminal/Pacific Connector Pipeline

General Information

The Carbon Mistake A discussion of when it’s appropriate to focus discussion on carbon and when this is not appropriate and actually generates counter-productive confusion.

The Tax versus Cap Approach to limiting greenhouse gas emissions. A discussion of the cap approach versus tax approach to pricing greenhouse gas emissions, including a discussion of the ways funds can be expended.

The Natural Gas conundrum   A discussion of why fossil (natural) gas is not a climate solution.

The Climate Science Consensus A discussion of the twelve step sequence comprising the climate science consensus describing the science of global warming and the climate chaos it is causing.