Hill to Hall Feb. 19–22

Feb. 19: Oregon Senate Republicans ready to walk out over cap-and-trade bill


Oregon Senate Republicans are finalizing preparations to walk out of the chamber to prevent the passage of Senate Bill 1530, the controversial carbon cap-and-trade bill, according to Statesman Journal. Several Republicans have identified locations to stay outside of Oregon and have bought or are planning to buy plane tickets out of the state. Sen. Fred Girod stated, “As soon as Ways and Means passes out 1530 to the full Senate, I think we’ll walk,” to Statesman Journal. The planned walkout comes after House Republicans refused to attend a Tuesday night session after demanding that all bills be read in their entirety in an attempt to slow down the legislative session, according to AP News.


Feb. 20: Jordan Cove pipeline decision delayed by federal energy agency


The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission voted 2-1 to delay their decision on the Jordan Cove natural gas pipeline, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB). The vote comes after a decision by the State of Oregon to deny the project a state permit. AP News reported the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development has voiced their objections to the project, warning the pipeline would harm the environment. One member of the FERC called the decision-making process “rotten” and urged the commission to consider the pipeline’s effect on endangered species and greenhouse gas emissions. The commissioner cited the Natural Gas Act, which requires public interest to be weighed against adverse effects, as one of the reasons for his objection, according to Statesman Journal.


Feb. 20: DOJ to launch civil rights investigation into wrongful arrest of Portland resident


The U.S. Department of Justice will lead a civil rights investigation into the wrongful arrest of Portland resident Michael Fesser, which occurred in 2017, according to The Oregonian. Fesser, an African-American man, says he was targeted after complaining about a racially hostile work environment at a Portland towing company, according to AP News. Litigation by Fesser uncovered that Fesser was surveilled and arrested by West Linn police as a favor to a friend of then-Police Chief Terry Timeus. The investigation comes after Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden and Rep. Earl Blumenauer, called for federal action in the case, according to The Oregonian.


Feb. 22: ICE subpoenas Oregon law enforcement

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued five subpoenas to the Clackamas and Wasco County Sheriff’s Offices, as well as the Oregon State and Hillsboro Police departments, seeking information on people the agency wishes to deport, according to OPB. On Feb. 18, ICE subpoenaed the Washington County Sheriff’s Office for information on two Mexican citizens wanted for deportation, one of which has been released from custody according to AP News The subpoenas are the first to be served in Oregon and represent a larger escalation between federal immigration agencies and sanctuary cities. Deputy Shannon Wilde, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office, said, “Our office is going to comply with the subpoena because it’s valid and was served properly,” according to The Oregonian. Oregon’s 30-year-old sanctuary law, the oldest in the nation, states that no law enforcement agency can use its own money, equipment or personnel to detect or apprehend undocumented immigrants who have not committed another crime