Oregon Climate Action Plan Turns Two!
Two years ago, Governor Kate Brown made history when she signed the Oregon Climate Action Plan (OCAP), executive order 20-04. It’s the largest executive action on climate in Oregon history, and arguably the biggest single climate action ever undertaken by the state given its broad sweep. OCAP set in motion a broad array of state agency activities to respond to the climate crisis by reducing climate emissions from our state’s largest polluting sectors and prioritizing communities on the frontlines of climate impacts.
OEC and our partners in the OCAP Coalition, which includes more than 50 climate, environmental justice, youth, labor, public health, and business organizations, have worked tirelessly over the past two years to secure the best possible outcomes for our climate, communities and economy. In recognition of the two-year anniversary of OCAP, OEC and our partners in the OCAP Coalition released a progress report celebrating the significant progress that state agencies have made this past year, and highlights opportunities to build on this momentum through additional policy actions in the next phase of work. Check out our assessment of the current progress of initiatives, programs, and projects set in motion by the executive order.
Oregon Climate Action Plan: Two-Year Progress Report covers six issue areas:
- Cap & Reduce
- Clean Buildings
- Natural & Working Lands
- Clean Energy
- Public Health
Thanks to robust advocacy engagement on behalf of the OCAP Coalition and environmental justice and climate partners across the state, the leadership of Governor Kate Brown, and extensive work on the part of our state agencies, Oregon made significant progress in year two of the Oregon Climate Action Plan to reduce climate pollution, address historic environmental injustice, and promote resilient communities and economic vitality across Oregon.
Some highlights include:
Mandatory, declining limits on climate pollution from oil and gas companies
- Oregon’s new Climate Protection Program requires oil companies and methane gas utilities to reduce climate pollution by at least 50% by 2035 and at least 90% by 2050, and set new requirements for large industrial facilities to reduce their emissions. In doing so, the CPP will improve public health and resiliency for Oregon communities, create opportunities for technological innovation and advancement, and advance investments in environmental justice communities across Oregon.
Reducing harmful diesel pollution and supporting green job growth
- The Advanced Clean Truck rule compels truck manufacturers to offer an increasing percentage of new sales in Oregon to be zero-emission medium and heavy-duty (MHD) trucks, while the Low-NOx rule requires new fossil fuel powered engines to significantly reduce toxic air pollution from MHD trucks sold beginning model year 2025. Both rules apply to sales of new trucks and govern truck manufacturers.
Worker protections from extreme heat & wildfire smoke
- Oregon is on the verge of adopting new standards to protect Oregon’s workers against climate-fueled extreme heat and wildfire smoke. Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration is accepting public comments on final draft rules through March 18, with plans to adopt final rules soon afterward. While not yet final, they have the possibility to be the strongest of these kinds of protections in the nation.
First-ever carbon sequestration goals for our state’s natural & working lands
- For the first time in our state’s history, Oregon now has concrete goals for advancing carbon sequestration by Oregon’s forests, wetlands, and agricultural lands. Specifically, the proposal recommends Oregon use trees, plants, and soils to capture and store at least an additional 5 million metric tons (MMT) of greenhouse gasses per year by 2030, and at least 9.5 MMT by 2050. These goals are separate from and in addition to Oregon’s greenhouse gas reduction targets achieved by transitioning off fossil fuels to clean energy.
Assessing the future of methane gas in Oregon
- The Public Utility Commission has undertaken a fact-finding mission to gain a better understanding of how different decarbonization scenarios might impact gas customers in Oregon, with the goal of informing future decision-making. This is the beginning of an urgent discussion of winding down fossil fuel use in homes & buildings, power generation, and heavy industry.