HB3196 Authorizes rules for Community Climate Investment within the Climate Protection Program
Alan R.P. Journet Ph.D.
Southern Oregon Climate Action Now
February 24th 2023
Chair Marsh and members of the House Committee on Climate, Energy and Environment:
I write as cofacilitator of Southern Oregon Climate Action Now (SOCAN), an organization of over 2,000 rural Southern Oregonians who are concerned about the climate crisis and urge statewide action to address it. The mission of SOCAN is to promote awareness and understanding of the science of global warming and its climate chaos consequences and stimulate individual and collective action to address it. Since rural Oregonians occupy the frontlines in experiencing the impact of the drought, shrinking snowpack, wildfires and extreme weather that the climate crisis imposes, we are strongly committed to statewide action.
We understand full well that the 2007 HB3543 which program that imposed a greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal of 75% below the 1990 emissions level is not only failing to have the designated effect, but is also now recognized by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2018) as inadequate to meet the demands of the time.
Because, despite repeated efforts by conscious legislature to establish such a [program, the Oregon legislature has refused to respond to the failing 2007 program by enacting meaningful comprehensive greenhouse gas emissions legislation. It was, therefore, left to Governor Brown to sign Executive Order 20-04 that charged the state agencies with relevant authority to develop programs that would reduce statewide emissions within their authority. One such success is the Climate Protection Program (CPP). This program incorporates a Community Climate Investment (CCI) Plan that allows polluting entities to achieve some portion of their emissions reductions requirements by investing in projects within Oregon that reduce emissions commensurate with that portion of their reduction responsibility. These CCIs relieve industries who will find reducing their climate pollution more difficult than others of the full burden that the CPP rules impose.
HB3196 simply establishes rules that will allow the CCI component of the CPP to undertake its assigned task. For this reason, SOCAN strongly support passage of HB3196. If Oregon is to contribute its fair share to the global effort to address this climate crisis, our state must establish and maintain programs that promote emissions reductions and carbon sequestration that allow us to achieve scientifically established goals. Arguing, as some do, that Oregon’s contribution to the national or global emissions is so small as to excuse our state from reducing emissions, is akin to suggest that my individual taxes responsibility to the state or nation is so small that I should be excused from paying taxes. It is unethical, and, at best – amoral. Furthermore, if we wish to urge other states and nations to contribute to solving this problem with any credibility, we should first address our contribution to it, however small. By passing Bills such as HB3196, through its legislature, Oregonians demonstrate that we are concerned about the climate crisis and are committed to delivering on our expected emissions reductions.
IPCC 2018 Global Warming of 1.5⁰C. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/.
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