Climate Protection Plan
We celebrated the successful passage of our Building Resilience Climate policy package this past legislative session (SB 868, 869,870, 871) and the passage of our Climate Protection Plan (CPP). The Climate Protection Plan is crucial to making us all healthier and safer; we're doing our part to ensure a more stable climate future. However, now the Climate Protection Plan is in rulemaking and industry is trying very hard to weaken it.
Our statewide coalition, Oregon Climate and Equity Network, is working to keep this program strong. Here is the comment submitted by 350 Eugene:
"The passage of the Climate Protection Plan (CPP) is an important step towards reaching our climate safety goals. As with any legislation, the success of the outcome is due to the specifics in the rule-making process.
We are very disturbed to see the make-up of the rule-making advisory committee. (RAC).
We note that of 14 members, only two are public interest groups. How can such a heavy reliance on the regulated industries’ input serve the public interest? We in Eugene are acutely aware of how the gas industry can manipulate public opinion through large expensive campaigns to derail safer electrification regulations.
The current concessions to regulated industries allow out-of-state RNG bio-methane investments and could enable the expansion of new large industrial emitters, defeating the goals of the Climate Protection Plan (CPP). The current proposed rule amendments will compromise the program’s intended public health, economic, and employment goals, and hinder benefits for Oregon consumers, workers, local economies, and environmental justice communities across the state.
We are also concerned that this type of out of state investment would divert money from the Community Climate Investment fund, created specifically to focus on benefits to Oregonians.
We see Northwest Natural Gas is already seeking to comply with the CPP by purchasing Renewable Thermal Certificates associated with RNG outside of Oregon. Please strengthen requirements by restricting bio-methane used for CPP compliance to that which would produce direct benefits to Oregonians.
Finally, we ask you to strengthen the emissions reduction requirements for new or expanded stationary source facilities in Oregon under the BAER Act. These large emitters must pivot to use their economic base to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
This rule-making is vital to ensure this program stays on track to achieve its stated climate, public health, and economic goals. You are in a crucial role to make sure this actually happens." -350 Eugene
Your comments can be short and simple. It is just important that DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality) hears from as many people as possible, telling them that they need to stay strong in the face of industry push back to weaken this program.
Hearing from us in Eugene is important because we have already seen what Northwest “Natural” Gas has done, pouring almost $1 million into trying to defeat our city’s electrification ordinance.
PLEASE SUBMIT WRITTEN COMMENTS TO DEQ! NUMBERS COUNT!
Submit written public comments to DEQ by October 13, 2023, at 4:00 p.m.
Email comments to: Climate.firstname.lastname@example.org with “2023 Climate Rulemaking” in the subject line.
Our partners at Beyond Toxics have also put together talking points on their website. Visit our website for sample testimonies and talking points.
Aside from the effort to weaken the plan in rulemaking, industry is now suing the state to disallow the plan altogether! Our statewide coalition attended the State Court of Appeals hearing where industry and Beyond Toxics as intervenor made their arguments. We can’t let industry dictate our climate future. We had a strong showing with Senator Golden and Rep Marsh joining us.
The time to act is NOW! Your voice can help protect the CPP and secure a resilient climate future for Oregon. Together, we can make a difference!
"The university [of Oregon] recognizes that as a public institution of research and education, its leadership and example are an important contribution to a global effort that reaches across all sectors of society to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, transition away from fossil fuels, and plan for resiliency as we face effects from climate change." (UO Climate Action Plan)
Despite this recognition that UO is seen as a leader for a sustainable climate, the university is the largest pollutor of carbon emissions in Eugene. The UO Thermal Systems Task Force has released a survey for the public to input their opinions. We ask that you fill out the survey and tell the task force to switch their gas boiler system to electric.
Take the survey to tell UO to electrify its gas boiler system and dramatically reduce emissions. Fill out this survey and urge them to do better.
For ideas on how to respond:
Q: In 2022, the State of Oregon launched an enforceable plan to reduce statewide emissions from fossil fuels by 90% by 2050. Should the University of Oregon rely primarily on that plan or spend money on additional actions that reduce campus heating emissions that may be more costly?
A: Take additional action to reduce campus emissions
Q: Why is it important for the University of Oregon to take action above and beyond planned state level emissions reduction plans? Because:
A: Any of these answers make sense - alternatively you can choose “Other” and write “all of the above”
Q: Of the potential impacts related to the project, which of the following are you most concerned about?
A: Use the sliders to indicate that you’re not concerned about any of the impacts
Q: What would you need to feel more informed and engaged about the university’s efforts to transform the university’s heating system?
A: Greater transparency about the decision-making process of the Thermal Task Force and more opportunities for public comment ahead of the Task Force’s recommendation to the Board.
Send additional input to the Thermal Task Force at: email@example.com
We have a new Facebook page! For updates on 350 Eugene's events and events we are sponsoring/promoting check us out here!
Now is the time to take action. Fill out the UO survey and send your comments to the DEQ to help fight for a healthier planet and better future for all!
The greatest threat to the planet is the belief that someone else will save it. ~Robert Swan