Oregon Legislation on Capping GHG Emissions Doesn’t Go Far Enough

Oregon legislators have proposed rules for the new Climate Protection Program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This proposal comes after more than a year of work and meetings amongst a 35-member advisory committee.  

The program will set the limits on greenhouse gas emissions from large corporate polluters, transportation and other major emissions sources in Oregon, but it exempts landfills, electric power plants and some natural gas compressor stations. The first supposed milestone planned for 2035 is the reduction of GHG emissions by at least 55% of the levels observed in 1990. The second calls for an 80% reduction of these emissions by 2050. 

Information on the Oregon Clean Fuels Program and incentives for electric vehicles and energy efficiency programs are also part of the proposed legislation.  

Earlier this year, the Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 2021, requiring, among other things, a number of electricity providers in Oregon to supply 100% clean energy by 2040. 

Although the program is an attempt to address the effects of climate change, 24 organizations, including the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, Beyond Toxics, and Rogue Climate stated in their letter to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality that the proposed restrictions are too mild. 

The Oregon Environmental Quality Commission will hold a public hearing on Thursday, Sept. 30, from 4 to 7 p.m. Written comments can be emailed to rulemaking contact Nicole Singh at ghgcr2021@deq.state.or.us. 

After the public comment period, the rules must be approved by the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission, with the vote expected by the end of the year. 

Program information, registration for submitting comments, and information on how to join the meeting can be found here 

By Joanna Rosińska