Hill to Hall Jan. 13–17

Jan. 13: Oregon Democrats reveal new climate bill ahead of new session

Democratic legislators released a new version of a previous climate change bill, dubbed the “cap and trade” bill, at an Oregon Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee meeting. A similar bill failed in last year’s session after Republican lawmakers staged a walkout in opposition to the legislation, denying the quorum necessary to vote, according to The Oregonian. Currently named Legislative Concept 19, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting, the bill would create a cap to the amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the state and require emitters to acquire credits for the gas they emit, which will be in limited supply that declines over time. The changes include lessening its impact in rural Oregon, which would not be phased into the program until after Portland and other larger cities. 


Jan. 16: County judge finds environmental ballot measures wrongly rejected by secretary of state

Marion County Judge David Leith ruled in favor of two previously rejected clean energy ballot initiatives, ordering Secretary of State Beverly Clarno to process the initiatives to be brought before voters in November. Clarno, a Republican, previously rejected initiative petitions 48 and 49 for not meeting the state’s requirement that initiatives be limited to a single subject, according to AP News. The ruling allows the initiatives to move to the attorney general to receive a ballot title. The initiatives, if passed, would require that 100% of Oregon’s electricity come from renewable or carbon free sources by 2045. 


Jan. 17: Climate change lawsuit dismissed by U.S. court

A federal appeals court dismissed a 2015 lawsuit against the United States government, insisting the 21 young people who filed the suit did not have the legal standing to do so. The suit was filed by Our Children’s Trust, an Oregon-based advocacy group claiming the government’s current policies threaten their future and infringes on their constitutional rights, according to OPB. In the 2-1 vote for dismissal, the court wrote that it was not the proper venue for addressing the country’s emissions policies or fossil fuel usage and that they should instead be addressed by the legislature.