Thursday, May 7, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) staff presented the Environmental Quality Commission (EQC) with the agency’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Workplans for 2020 and 2021 to implement the Governor’s executive order 20-04 that was issued on March 10, just after the end of the 2020 Legislative Session. 

Issued in response to legislative challenges in passing a  cap and trade program (SB 1530), the executive order directs state agencies to create plans that would reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent by 2035 and 80 percent by 2050 while adhering to the following guidelines:

  • Prioritize actions that reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions in a cost-effective manner;  
  • Prioritize actions that will help vulnerable populations and impacted communities to adapt to climate change impacts; and 
  • Consult with the Environmental Justice Task Force when evaluating climate change mitigation and adaptation priorities and actions. 

On March 9, the Legislative Emergency Board authorized $5.0 million to the DEQ to implement GHG reduction efforts. 

What’s Next? 

DEQ will work with the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), Department of Land Conservation and Development, and the Oregon Department of Energy to implement the Oregon Statewide Transportation Strategy (STS): A 2050 Vision for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction. The Oregon STS was adopted in 2013 and is designed to reduce transportation greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent by 2050.

The Oregon Transportation Commission met Thursday, May 14, to discuss ODOT’s proposed plan to implement the Governor’s Executive Order 20-04 which requires the agency to: 

  • Conduct a statewide needs assessment for transportation electrification infrastructure, with a particular focus on rural areas, to meet the goals identified in SB 1044 (2019);
  • Develop and apply a process for evaluating the GHG emissions associated with transportation projects as a part of its regular capital planning process; 
  • Identify and implement assistance for local planning to meet GHG reduction goals; and
  • Integrate climate change into agency decisions.

The Land Conservation and Development Commission (OLCD) will meet Thursday, May 21, to discuss and potentially approve the agency’s proposed plan, which is not yet released. OLCD is tasked with creating a plan in coordination with ODOT to:

  • Establish GHG emission reduction performance metrics; and
  • Amend the transportation planning rule that directs changes to the transportation plans of metropolitan planning areas to meet GHG reduction goals.

OLCD is using scenario planning efforts from the metro areas to structure and guide their approach, as the implemented scenarios have already achieved GHG reductions. 

AOC will continue to monitor the situation as the proposals are officially submitted to the Governor, and throughout the rulemaking and implementation process. 

Contributed by: Jocelyn Blake | Policy Analyst