Oregon PSR is working on four priorities for the short February session at the Oregon State Legislature in Salem this year. Our top priority is advancing a strong cap-and-invest “Clean Energy Jobs” bill. We are also supporting a deadline for retiring dirty diesel engines, and funding for Cleaner Air Oregon, and a gun safety bill to close the boyfriend/stalker loophole. Questions? Read on and/or contact Damon.
Oregon PSR is excited by the opportunity for strong action on climate in the Oregon legislature during the 2018 session. In order to achieve the just, healthy climate future that we need, there must be great measures taken at every level to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other toxic pollutants while supporting a just transition. The Clean Energy Jobs Bill (HB 4001 and SB 1507), if improved and implemented, can be an important tool to protect public health by reducing pollution from large sources of dirty energy creation and usage and investing in communities most impacted by climate change.
During the legislative session, Oregon PSR will advocate through the amendments process for a more equitable policy. There are several points that we see as crucial to legislation that will maximize benefits to public health, protect the most vulnerable communities and use the best available science, including but not limited to:
1). Cap and invest programs require greenhouse gas emitters to buy allowances for their emissions. Money from those purchases is reinvested in impacted communities, including communities of color in urban areas, for green infrastructure and jobs. Freely awarded allowances must be extremely limited in order to preserve meaningful revenue for this re-investment.
2). Carbon offset projects should ideally be eliminated, or if allowed, account for a very small percentage of a polluter's program compliance. Any offset projects should be located in the state of Oregon to allow easy access for monitoring and accountability.
3). Nuclear power, fossil fuel-generated energy projects, forest biomass projects, and incineration of medical and municipal waste should be deemed ineligible to receive benefits through investments, offsets, and/or any mechanism established through this legislation. These sources of energy are not clean and should not divert funds from renewable energy job training and other worthy investments intended to support a just transition.
4). Fluorinated gases must not be exempted from the program. These include hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), all of which are greenhouse gases that are much more potent than carbon dioxide. No effective climate policy should exempt emissions of fluorinated gases due to their high warming impact and long lifespan when released into the atmosphere.
Oregon PSR encourages members to contact their legislators in Salem to encourage them to pass a cap and invest bill that includes these protections. Climate change is already affecting human health in Oregon through increased wildfires, extreme heat events, ocean acidification, and more. We do not have time to wait for strong climate action on every level of government. It's time for Oregon to become a leader in state climate policy.
We need your help! Help us advance a strong Clean Energy Jobs program during the 2018 session.
Diesel Clean Up (HB 4003)
Our state legislature must take action to address the harm caused by deadly dirty diesel engines. We know that diesel pollution causes more fatalities than traffic crashes, puts Oregonians at heightened risk of cancer in at least 17 Oregon counties, damages the heart, lungs and brain, and is at highest concentration in neighborhoods with more low-income and people-of-color residents. Oregon PSR is supporting House Bill 4003, the Diesel Clean Up bill that protects public health by setting a deadline for cleaning up dirty diesel engines.
We are also supporting funding to enforce Oregon’s new air quality regulations and reduce permitting backlogs.
We’ll be advocating for a dirty diesel deadline and funding for Cleaner Air Oregon at the Clean Air Lobby Day, Wednesday, February 14th in Salem. RSVP to join Oregon PSR members at the lobby day, or find more information and share this event on Facebook.
Closing the Boyfriend/Stalker Loophole (HB 4145)
The bill is aimed at closing the Boyfriend/ Stalker Loophole, so that abusive dating partners and convicted stalkers can no longer own or purchase a gun. The bill will also codify into law the practice of Oregon State Police notifying local law enforcement when a prohibited purchaser attempts to buy a gun. Contact us if you’d like to submit testimony and help advance this bill.
Stay tuned for updates on our legislative priorities and action alerts as the session progresses and feel free to contact our registered lobbyist with any questions.