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Airline travel and more disrupted by global tech outage; Nevada gets OK to sell federal public lands for affordable housing;Science Moms work to foster meaningful talks on climate change; Scientists reconsider net-zero pledges to reach climate goals.

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As Trump accepts nomination for President, delegates emphasize themes of unity and optimism envisioning 'new golden age.' But RNC convention was marked by strong opposition to LGBTQ rights, which both opened and closed the event.

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It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

Coalition forms to support restoration of OR Climate Protection Program

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Friday, June 28, 2024   

A diverse coalition of groups in Oregon is advocating for the restoration of the Climate Protection Program as the state works to reestablish it.

The climate mitigation program was invalidated in 2023 after a judge ruled the Department of Environmental Quality did not fully comply with the rule making process. The agency is in the process of reinstating it, completing its third and final rule making advisory committee meeting this week.

Meredith Connolly, Oregon director for the clean energy economy nonprofit Climate Solutions, said while it is disappointing the program was struck down, the department has been diligent in the restoration process.

"Regulated industries are around the table, community groups, businesses, climate groups, public interest sector and they actually have been asking the question, 'Well, it was in effect for a few years. What was working, where could we make improvements?'" Connolly observed. "That's been the main focus of this rule making process."

Connolly pointed out the state will not be able to meet its clean energy goals without the plan, which aims to reduce emissions by 90% by 2050. Nearly 50 environmental, economic and business groups and indigenous communities are part of the Coalition for Climate and Economic Justice. The department is expected to publish a Notice of Proposed Rule Making in July.

Tim Miller, director of the nonprofit Oregon Business for Climate, said the agency has made some tweaks to help large, energy intensive businesses stay competitive with businesses in other states. He noted there are a lot of upsides for businesses from the Climate Protection Program, including its long planning horizon.

"The Climate Protection Program creates a bunch of business opportunities because folks are going to need to invest in their homes and their businesses and their buildings and in renewable energy and in transportation efficiency," Miller explained. "Those are all job creation investments."

Connolly added one of the most important parts of the program is the Community Climate Investments fund. Emitters in the state can invest in this program, which supports communities on the front lines of climate change.

"We need to both be having the biggest polluters be responsible for reducing their pollution but also investing in the solutions that help communities adapt and become more resilient and be able to afford clean energy solutions," Connolly urged.

Disclosure: Climate Solutions contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, and Environmental Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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