The Oregon Climate Action Plan (Executive Order 20-04)

Thanks to Governor Kate Brown’s Executive Order 20-04 in March 2020, state agencies spent 18 months and ongoing developing programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the state and promote carbon sequestration in our natural and working lands – developing all such programs through the lens of climate justice.
The following comprises a brief summary of actions to date (March 2022) in the various sectors.

Natural & Working Lands

–      Oregon Global Warming Commission established goals for carbon sequestration in our natural and working lands (forest, wetland, agricultural lands) @ 5 MMTCO2e by 2030, 9.5 MMT CO2e by 2050 separate from other GHG targets. Advanced in the legislature as SB1534 – which failed,

–      Board of Forestry approved a Climate Change & Carbon Plan,

–      ODF incorporated carbon and climate goals into the Western Oregon State Forest Management Plan

–      SOCAN was engaged with and testified to OGWC and ODF throughout.

Transportation

  • Environmental Quality Commission adopted Clean Truck Rule promoting electric trucks.
  • ODOT completed Transportation Electrification Needs Analysis (TEINA) designed to promote electrification infrastructure (e.g., charging stations).
  • SOCAN engaged on these issues.

Clean Energy

Public Utilities Commission (PUC):

  • Prioritized decarbonization of the utility (electricity generation) sector.
  • Improved the Oregon Community Solar Program to serve low-income Oregonians better by increasing the discount for such subscribers from 20% to 40%,
  • Adopted policies to keep power available to vulnerable Oregonians facing pandemic hardships,
  • Distribution System Proposals, historically the purview of utilities, have been opened to allow public community engagement,
  • Initiated “Natural Gas Fact Finding” to explore how decarbonization will affect customers

Cap and Reduce

  • Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Environmental Quality Commission (EQC)
  • Established a Climate Protection Program (CPP)
  • Mandatory, science-based emission limits on oil companies and fossil gas utilities
  • 50% by 2035
  • 90% by 2050
  • Established science-based targets for industrial facilities to reduce emissions
  • Invest in clean energy projects
  • Focused on EJ communities
  • SOCAN & ROCPAC testified, initiated action and joined efforts to strengthen CPP
  • 70% of 7,000+ comments in favor of strengthening CPP
  • Up to $500 million invested ANNUALLY in EJ and vulnerable communities through Community Climate Investment
  • 309 MILLION metric tons of climate pollution reduced by 2050
  • SOCAN testified on many of these issues

Clean Buildings

Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE), Public Utility Commission (PUC), Building Codes Division (BCD)

  • ODOE new energy efficiency standards
  • Legislature approved heat pumps
  • SOCAN & ROCPAC joined coalition partners to work on this
  • Saves up to $100 million and 100,000 metric tons per year by 2035

MORE WORK TO DO HERE

Public Health

Oregon Health Authority (OHA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

  • COVID made it very difficult for OHA and OSHA from taking climate action
  • $40 billion lost annually by 2050 from excessive heat issues
  • $5,359 average cost of heat related hospitalization

SOCAN & ROCPAC will continue to follow and work on this part of OCAP

Climate Friendly and Equitable Communities

(Applies to Cities over 50,000, e.g. Medford/Ashland)

  • Focused on significantly strengthening Oregon’s administrative rules about transportation and housing planning in Oregon’s eight urban areas with populations over 50,000 people.
    • Albany, Bend, Corvallis, Eugene/Springfield, Grants Pass, Medford/Ashland, Portland Metro, Salem/Keizer
  • Reducing pollution while also increasing housing choices and creating more equitable outcomes for all Oregonians.
    • Reducing driving is one of the most important ways to reduce pollution
  • Most new development will be in neighborhoods where shopping, employment, parks and housing are in closer proximity.
    • Increasing transportation options – making walking, cycling, and transit safer and more convenient.
  • Less focus on ensuring motor vehicle mobility, and more on providing people with access to services and destinations.

The full status report from the coalition leadership on the two year anniversary of the Executive Order is available here.