Carbon reduction policy launches in salem blog news oregon cub gas near me app


Though carbon reduction regulation did not pass during the 2018 short Oregon legislative session, both the Governor’s office and legislative leadership have signaled commitments for success in 2019. The Joint Interim Committee on Carbon Reduction met in Salem for the first time on May 22 with the goal of laying groundwork for enactment of comprehensive legislation to put a price on carbon in 2019. One signal of the importance of this issue is that Senate President Peter Courtney and Speaker of the House Tina Kotek are co-chairs of this interim committee.

Much, but by no means all, of the interim attention will be on the top carbon emitting sectors – transportation and electricity production. According to sector analysis by the Department of Environmental Quality, transportation emitted 39 percent and production of electricity used in our state emitted 26 percent of the 62 million metric tons of carbon dioxide released in 2016. (A quick terminology note is that carbon is frequently used as shorthand for carbon dioxide, and is often used interchangeably with greenhouse gas emissions. However, greenhouse gases include methane and many fluorinated gases in addition to carbon dioxide.)

CUB will continue to be a resource on effective strategies to address carbon reduction linked to electricity produced to serve customers of our state’s major investor-owned private utilities, Portland General Electric and Pacific Power. These efforts build on the Coal-to-Clean bill enacted in 2016 that moves Oregon off of coal-fired electricity by 2035.

An important step forward is that Portland General Electric has already signaled their commitment to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80 percent by 2050. This is company’s proportion of Oregon’s 2050 greenhouse gas reduction goal. How this goal will be reflected in 2019 carbon reduction legislation, as well as developing an effective strategy for Pacific Power, are policy development challenges that CUB will be working on during the interim.

Four members of the Carbon Reduction Committee also serve on the Joint Committee on Transportation, which sends a strong signal about the importance of legislation that addresses carbon emissions from the transportation sector. Senator Cliff Bentz, who was a key transportation policy-player during his time in the House, will also be an important member of the Carbon Reduction Committee. Most other Carbon Reduction Committee members also serve on House and Senate Energy Committees, which have addressed this topic in previous years.

Transportation electrification is another important carbon reduction policy issue. CUB has been a leader on the development of utility pilot projects to advance vehicle electrification as part of the implementation of the Coal-to-Clean legislation. This expertise will indeed come in handy during upcoming policy development discussions.

Be rooted in principles of equity, create resilient communities, and protect vulnerable Oregonians; especially low-income families, communities of color, rural areas, and those on the frontlines experiencing disproportionate impacts from climate change and pollution;

The Carbon Policy Office will manage research studies on forest carbon sequestration, energy intensive-trade exposed industries (EITEs), and economic impact analysis. White papers will be prepared on implications of cap-and-trade for highway cost allocation and affected communities.

Indeed, there is a lot of work to be done in 2018, and CUB is primed to contribute with our substantial utility and energy policy expertise. The coordinated efforts of the Joint Carbon Reduction Committee and the Governor’s Carbon Reduction Office represent an exciting opportunity to enact comprehensive carbon reduction legislation in 2019.