Sunday, October 24, 2021

Play

Some states entice people back to the workplace by increasing safety standards and higher minimum wage; Bannon held in Contempt of Congress; and the latest cyber security concerns.

Play

House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress; Trump announces new social media platform TRUTH Social; and the Biden administration says it will continue to expel migrants under Title 42.

Play

An all-Black Oklahoma town joins big cities in seeking reparations; a Kentucky vaccination skeptic does a 180; telehealth proves invaluable during pandemic; and spooky destinations lure tourists at Halloween.

Groups Push for Stronger Action in OR Climate-Protection Program

Play

Tuesday, September 28, 2021   

Corrected 9/28/21, 2 p.m. MDT, to clarify that the Climate Protection Program was not directly created by executive order; and that it is unclear how passage of HB 2021 will affect it.


PORTLAND, Ore. -- Draft rules are out for a program designed to confront climate change in Oregon, and advocates say now is the time for concerned citizens to get involved if they want meaningful change.

The Climate Protection Program was the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality's (DEQ) answer to an executive order by Gov. Kate Brown in 2020.

Priya Judge, coalition coordinator for Power Past Fracked Gas, said there are flaws in the program's draft rules, noting the DEQ would not regulate the state's biggest carbon emitters.

"That is basically happening under the umbrella of exemptions on the entire electric sector in Oregon, which includes the top six stationary polluters of fracked-gas power plants," Judge asserted.

Judge pointed out those plants are a major source of carbon emissions in the state. The DEQ is holding its final public hearing on the draft rules online at 4:00 p.m. Thursday. The agency is accepting public comment through next Monday.

The Climate Protection Program also establishes a Community Climate Investment (CCI) fund, which allows emitters to earn credits by contributing to groups aiming to cut emissions.

Haley Case-Scott, climate justice grassroots organizer for Beyond Toxics, said the concern is that there are not sufficient protections or "sideboards" to ensure front-line communities actually benefit from the program. She said if an emitter can't meet their one-ton reduction goal, for example, then they can use the Community Climate Investment fund to replace their reduction.

"So they're not necessarily reducing their emissions." Case-Scott said. "They're using that credit to invest into 'an environmental justice community or project.' And so that's supposed to be considered a one-to-one match, but it's not really clear to me how they're actually reducing greenhouse gases."

Case-Scott added the DEQ should require the program to achieve a one-to-one or greater emissions reduction.

Alan Journet, co-facilitator for Southern Oregon Climate Action Now, said rural communities are feeling the effects of climate change, such as from wildfires. He is frustrated carbon sequestration was taken out of the final offset program in the draft rules.

But Journet believes the biggest shortfall is the program does not address the full array of emissions.

"The problem, then, is even when they claim that they're going to reduce those less-than-50% of the emissions substantially, there's still half of the emissions from the state that are not even covered," Journet stated.

The Climate Protection Program aims to cut emissions to at least 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. It isn't clear how legislation passed in Oregon this year -- requiring all electricity sold in the state to be clean by 2040 -- will affect the program.


Disclosure: Beyond Toxics contributes to our fund for reporting on Environment, Environmental Justice, Social Justice, and Toxics. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
California has collected more than 600 tons of unwanted prescription drugs since the Take-Back Day program began in 2010. (Dodgerton Skillhause/Morguefile)

Health and Wellness

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, when the Drug Enforcement Administration encourages everyone to clean out …


Health and Wellness

BALTIMORE - This month marks the four-year anniversary of the #MeToo movement, and an art project aims to help incarcerated survivors heal by telling …

Social Issues

OGDEN, Utah - Utah is one of only a handful of states that taxes food, but one state legislator says taxing groceries should become a thing of the …


Hispanic people are 2.3 times as likely to have died from COVID-19 than white/non-Hispanic people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

ARLINGTON, Va. - Although COVID-19 rates have gone down, the virus continues to hit the Hispanic community especially hard. Now, a new campaign aims …

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. - A portion of American Rescue Plan funding sent to North Dakota has yet to be divvied up. Groups that want to improve the child-care …

Gov. Tom Wolf already has increased the minimum wage for state employees and contractors, which is set to reach $15 an hour by July 2024. (Gov. Tom Wolf/Flickr)

Social Issues

PITTSBURGH - As businesses across the country deal with a massive labor shortage, Pennsylvania aims to entice people back to the workplace by …

Environment

ALBANY, N.Y. - Environmental groups want Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign a bill that mandates monitoring the state's drinking water for "emerging …

Social Issues

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Gov. Mike Parson is facing calls to get the Missouri Cybersecurity Commission off the ground after it was created by the …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021