Public Policy Change
Oregon Environmental Council advances effective public policies that safeguard our future. Since our founding in 1968, our staff and volunteers have worked every legislative session in Salem to protect the Oregon we love. We provide leadership and opportunity for all Oregonians to create and implement a vision for a healthy environment through protective public policies. Together, we have a history of results.
Oregon’s 2019 legislative session proved to be the most divisive in recent memory, with a walkout by Senate Republicans preventing a vote on our major priority–Clean Energy Jobs. Despite this setback, Oregon Environmental Council made strides to protect the health of Oregonians and our environment. Here’s a short recap of our progress.
The Beginning of the End for Diesel Pollution (HB 2007)
We’re thrilled by passage of HB 2007, which requires the clean-up of old dirty diesel engines in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties, where 44% of the state’s population lives. The bill includes enforceable deadlines for the phase-out of highly polluting older engines, requirements for cleaner equipment on major construction projects, and targeted distribution of VW Settlement funds to help companies transition (more details here). The bill is a good first step, and we’ll advocate for improvements and expanded coverage in a future session.
Time Is Running Out for Bold Action on Climate Change (HB 2020)
The Clean Energy Jobs bill (HB 2020), which will cap carbon emissions and invest in a clean energy future, made it further than ever this session, but was thwarted by Senate Republicans denying a quorum for a vote. We are more determined than ever to work on behalf of children and families across Oregon who face an uncertain climate future and are continuing to advocate for significant action to address the climate emergency this year.
Creating a Secure Water Future + Safe Well Water (HB 2860)
A secure and resilient water future for all Oregonians is possible, but requires a more serious and consistent investment of resources. This session, the legislature allocated some funding to begin the process, but far more is needed to set Oregon on a course to protect clean water now and for the next 100 years.
Our effort to ensure renters are informed about the safety of the well water they drink did not pass, despite having agreement among stakeholders. HB 2860 got caught in a backlog of bills needing funding from the state, and didn’t rise to the top. We will bring back this legislation to address the safety of well water.
Coalition partner bills we supported and their fate
- SB 1044: Creates a statewide transportation electrification framework, setting goals for EV adoption statewide and requirements for state fleets to incorporate EVs over the next 10 years. Passed
- HB 2250: Oregon Environmental Protection Act – Requires state agencies to assess changes to federal environmental regulations and propose recommendations to maintain stringency as of January 1, 2017. Passed
- HB 2084: Extends grant program for place-based integrated water resources planning. Passed
- HB 2093: EV Charging – Streamlines process for state agencies to procure EVs and site EV charging infrastructure on state property. Passed
- HB 2623: Fracking Ban – Bans fracking in Oregon for the next 5 years. Passed
- HB 3273: Drug Take back – creates a return program for unused pharmaceuticals, with collection locations across the state. Passed
- HB 2509: Plastic Bag Ban – prohibits retail establishments from providing single-use plastic bags at checkout. Passed.
- HB 2242: Would create a new staff position at the Public Utility Commission as a Low Income and Environmental Justice Advocate to help ensure underrepresented customers have an advocate at PUC proceedings. Failed
- HB 2772: Household Hazardous Waste Stewardship – Introduced for the first time in 2017 and refined for 2019, this bill would establish a statewide stewardship program for household products that are flammable, corrosive or toxic–such as roach spray, oven cleaner, paint stripper and more. Killed
- HB 3023: Transportation Network Companies: Would create a statewide policy framework for Uber/Lyft, but was drafted by the industry and did not allow for adequate data sharing, driver protections, or insurance and would have preempted local control. We opposed, and the bill failed.
OREGON ENVIRONMENTAL COUNCIL ADVANCES AND SUPPORTS LEGISLATION THAT MEETS THESE STANDARDS:
- Lasting solutions that get at the source of Oregon’s environmental problems
- Creative solutions that are based on sound scientific evidence, economic analysis and life cycle thinking
- Equitable solutions that respect the needs of Oregon’s diverse communities
- Solutions that support a highly functioning economy
- We provide leadership and opportunity for all Oregonians to create and implement a vision for a healthy environment.