WindmillsBelow is a recap of the action taken by the Energy, Environment, and Land Use Steering Committee to date:

HB 4036—Renewable Portfolio Standard—Support with Amendments

HB 4036 is the product of a compromise between the private utilities and the environmental community. The bill received a public hearing on Tuesday and Thursday. There were plenty of people testifying on both sides of the issue. The legislature is expected to act on the bill because of a ballot initiative that is expected to pass during the 2016 election. AOC, along with the Community Renewable Energy Association (CREA), is attempting to amend the bill so that the 8% community renewable goal becomes a requirement. Efforts are ongoing to introduce this amendment on the House side but at this time it appears as if AOC/CREA will have to get it introduced on the Senate side.

SB 1563—Low Income Onsite Septic Loan Program—Support with Amendments

SB 1563-1 was published on Tuesday of this week and was scheduled for a hearing on Thursday in Senate Environment and Natural Resources but was pushed to next Tuesday’s hearing. The dash 1 amendments create an RFP program that enables DEQ to allow a third party lender to provide loans for repair/replacement of onsite septic systems or, if possible, connection to city sewer systems. The dash one amendments are also attached to the email that delivered this newsletter.

SB 1517—Oregon Farm Bureau Wetlands Bill—Support with Amendments

SB 1517-3 received a public hearing on Wednesday evening. Commissioners Labhart (Tillamook) and Smith (Curry) testified in favor of the bill. The dash 3 amendments would provid