SOCAN TESTIMONY ON HB4112 Promoting clean energy technology in Oregon


Alan R.P. Journet Ph.D.
Southern Oregon Climate Action Now
February 11th 2024


Reference Bill Number HB4112

Chair Marsh and Members of the House Committee on Climate, Energy and Environment:

I write as cofacilitator of Southern Oregon Climate Action Now, an organization of some 2,000 Southern Oregonians who are concerned about the climate crisis and encourage state action to address it.  As rural and coastal Southern Oregonians, we live on the frontlines of the warming, reducing snowpack, heatwaves, drought and the increasing wildfire risk that these trends conspire to produce.  Because of this, we pay close attention to what is happening in Salem in terms of legislative proposals.

I write today to offer our support for HB4112. Those of us following the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are very much aware that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change argued several years ago (IPCC 2018) that it is necessary to limit global warming to 1.5⁰C above pre-industrial levels.  This has become sufficiently well accepted that it has become generally assumed as the target (e.g., IPCC 2023). The industrial revolution is identified as having occurred in the mid – late 1700s through the early 1800s (Wilkinson 2023). By 2018, IPCC indicated that global temperatures had reached 1⁰C above pre-industrial temperature while IPCC (2023) identified warming as then reaching 1.1⁰C above the 1850-1900 immediate post-industrial revolution average. In fact, according to NASA (2024) last year the temperature anomaly over land was already above that critical value (NASA 2024) with every month from June onwards beating historic records.

Restricting warming to the 1.5⁰C target was argued by the IPCC (2018) to require our collectively achieving net zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050 where net zero is defined to exists when “…the amount of CO2 entering the atmosphere must equal the amount that is removed.  The simplest way to achieve this globally is for every jurisdiction to identify at least this as its individual goal and identify intermediate targets consistent with achieving that 2050 target.

The next task for jurisdictions, such as the state of Oregon, is to develop plans for reducing emissions.  This means reducing fossil fuel combustion and replacing that fossil fuel with renewable energy sources.  While there is skepticism in some circles about our collective ability to achieve the replacement of fossil fuels with renewable sources, in evaluating whether renewables can replace fossil fuels Prysmian (2024) offered the conclusion: “According to renewable energy policy think tank REN21, most barriers to moving out of the fossil fuel age are political rather than practical.”  This view is echoed by Inspire (2024) with the statement: “The best alternative to fossil fuels is to use all clean energy and alternative energy sources in tandem and then increase our dependence on clean energy sources as they become more efficient.” Stanford Environmental Engineer Mark Z. Jacobson (Carrington 2023) confirms these opinions by concluding: “Not only is a 100% renewables-powered world possible, but it also promises much lower energy bills.”

One way the state of Oregon can move forward on the state goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions is to promote renewable energy development within the state.  By providing a financial basis to leverage some $768 million of federal Inflation Reduction Act funds, HB4112 kickstarts the effort to promote renewable energy and clean technology in Oregon.

For these reasons, Southern Oregon Climate Action Now strongly endorses HB4112 and urges the House Committee on Climate, Energy and Environment to accord it swift passage.

Respectfully Submitted

Alan Journet

Carrington D 2023 ‘No miracles needed’: Prof Mark Jacobson on how wind, sun and water can power the world. The Guardian.,fall%2063%25%2C%20he%20says.

Inspire 2024 What Is the Best Alternative Energy Source To Replace Fossil Fuels? Inspire Clean Energy.

IPCC 2018 Global Warming of 1.5⁰C Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

IPCC 2023 CLIMATE CHANGE 2023 Synthesis Report Summary for Policymakers. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

NASA 2024 GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (v4) Analysis Graphs and Plots. National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Pyrsmian 2024 CAN RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES REPLACE FOSSIL FUELS? Insight; Pyrsmian Group Magazine

Wilkinson F. 2023 Industrialization, Labor, and Life National Geographic.

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