2019 Priorities for a Healthy Oregon

For more information, contact Paige Spence, Oregon Conservation Network Director at paige@olcv.org

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Clean Energy Jobs - HB 2020
Under this proposal, entities emitting 25,000+ metric tons of greenhouse gases per year must purchase permits for every ton emitted. A cap on emissions comes down regularly over time to ensure emissions are reduced. The program includes incentives to cut emissions with the flexibility to do it at least cost. Proceeds will be reinvested in clean energy solutions to lower emissions and protect against climate change. Funds will be invested in rural communities for projects like wildfire prevention, drought protection and clean energy. Equity and a just transition to clean energy are central to the policy.

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Ditching Dirty Diesel - HB 2007
Oregon will adopt emission standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, and require certain vehicles to have a 2010 model year or newer engine by 2029. Priority goes to projects that benefit sensitive populations or areas with elevated levels of diesel particulate matter; have support from the community; are carried out by disadvantaged business enterprises; involve small fleets; utilize clean fuels; maximize cost effectiveness of emissions reductions; and do not reward clean up that would otherwise occur without supplemental funding. Agricultural and training vehicles will not be required to meet the standards. The bill also requires clean diesel vehicles in public improvement projects and allows local governments to adopt anti-idling regulations for commercial vehicles, repealing the current state preemption.

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Oil Train Safety - HB 2604, HB 2209, HB 2598, & SB 99
The 2016 explosion in Mosier made the dangers of oil trains astoundingly clear. Every day, more and more oil trains make their way along the Columbia River and to the coast for exportation overseas. More oil trains means a higher risk of a spill or explosion, and, when that oil reaches its destination, it contributes heavily to climate change. Yet, Oregon still has the weakest oil-by-rail laws of the entire west coast. This bill would help railside communities by regulating and improving emergency response to future oil train spills/explosions. And, it would hold oil transporters accountable for making their trains as safe as possible.

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Soil and Water Protection - SB 853 & HB 3058 Neonicotinoids are a particularly potent family of pesticides whose use is detrimental to bees and other pollinators. In 2018, the European Union banned neonicotinoids in order to prevent bee populations from collapsing. Here in Oregon, we hope to limit and regulate their use. If this bill passes, it will take neonicotinoids off regular market shelves and require industrial buyers to pay a fee, get a license, and take a class on safe pesticide usage before buying. The bill would also include a ban on another pesticide, Chlorpyrifos, which is extremely dangerous to the farmworkers who are exposed to it. Chlorpyrifos has already been banned in Hawaii, and we hope to follow their lead.