Comments on the DEQ Climate Protection Program Rules
I write as co-facilitator of Southern Oregon Climate Action Now (SOCAN) an organization of 1500 rural Southern Oregonians. SOCAN has a Mission of promoting awareness and understanding about the science of climate change and its consequences, and stimulating individual and collective action to address it.
Recognizing the ongoing failure of the purely voluntary program imposed by HB3543 in 2007, we have been working for many years with state legislators and the statewide climate activist coalition to encourage our legislature to establish a meaningful climate program in the state. It is well-known that effective and potentially successful proposals were thwarted in 2019 (HB2020) and 2020 (SB1530) by Republicans walking out of the chambers to prevent a quorum and thus defeating these and many other important legislative items. When the 2020 session was curtailed by the walk-out, we were delighted that Governor Brown took the matter into her own hands by issuing Executive Order 20-04 charging state agencies to use their authority to develop rules that would substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon. The stated targets in that EO were reduction to at least 45% below the 1990 level by 2035, and at least 80% below the 1990 level by 2050. Agencies were also charged to develop programs that address social injustice and are cost-effective. In addition, the EO charges relevant agencies and commissions with developing programs to promote carbon sequestration in our natural and working lands.