Saturday, May 28, 2022


High gas prices are not slowing down Memorial Day travel, early voting starts tomorrow in Nevada, and Oregon activists seek accountability for dioxin contamination in low-income Eugene.


Education Secretary Cardona calls for action after the Texas massacre, Republicans block a domestic terrorism vote, and Secretary of State Blinken calls China the greatest challenger to U.S. and its allies.


High-speed internet is being used to entice remote workers to rural communities, Georgia is offering Black women participation in a guaranteed income initiative, and under-resourced students in Montana get a boost toward graduation.

Groups Push for Stronger Action in OR Climate-Protection Program


Tuesday, September 28, 2021   

Corrected 9/28/21, 2 p.m. MDT, to clarify that the Climate Protection Program was not directly created by executive order; and that it is unclear how passage of HB 2021 will affect it.

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Draft rules are out for a program designed to confront climate change in Oregon, and advocates say now is the time for concerned citizens to get involved if they want meaningful change.

The Climate Protection Program was the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality's (DEQ) answer to an executive order by Gov. Kate Brown in 2020.

Priya Judge, coalition coordinator for Power Past Fracked Gas, said there are flaws in the program's draft rules, noting the DEQ would not regulate the state's biggest carbon emitters.

"That is basically happening under the umbrella of exemptions on the entire electric sector in Oregon, which includes the top six stationary polluters of fracked-gas power plants," Judge asserted.

Judge pointed out those plants are a major source of carbon emissions in the state. The DEQ is holding its final public hearing on the draft rules online at 4:00 p.m. Thursday. The agency is accepting public comment through next Monday.

The Climate Protection Program also establishes a Community Climate Investment (CCI) fund, which allows emitters to earn credits by contributing to groups aiming to cut emissions.

Haley Case-Scott, climate justice grassroots organizer for Beyond Toxics, said the concern is that there are not sufficient protections or "sideboards" to ensure front-line communities actually benefit from the program. She said if an emitter can't meet their one-ton reduction goal, for example, then they can use the Community Climate Investment fund to replace their reduction.

"So they're not necessarily reducing their emissions." Case-Scott said. "They're using that credit to invest into 'an environmental justice community or project.' And so that's supposed to be considered a one-to-one match, but it's not really clear to me how they're actually reducing greenhouse gases."

Case-Scott added the DEQ should require the program to achieve a one-to-one or greater emissions reduction.

Alan Journet, co-facilitator for Southern Oregon Climate Action Now, said rural communities are feeling the effects of climate change, such as from wildfires. He is frustrated carbon sequestration was taken out of the final offset program in the draft rules.

But Journet believes the biggest shortfall is the program does not address the full array of emissions.

"The problem, then, is even when they claim that they're going to reduce those less-than-50% of the emissions substantially, there's still half of the emissions from the state that are not even covered," Journet stated.

The Climate Protection Program aims to cut emissions to at least 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. It isn't clear how legislation passed in Oregon this year -- requiring all electricity sold in the state to be clean by 2040 -- will affect the program.

Disclosure: Beyond Toxics contributes to our fund for reporting on Environment, Environmental Justice, Social Justice, and Toxics. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
Early voting locations will be open across Nevada for several weeks, from May 28 through June 10. (Jlmcanally/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The Nevada primary election is June 14, and early voting starts tomorrow and runs through June 10. Mail balloting is now permanent, so every active …

Social Issues

Democrats in the Florida Legislature are reviving calls for stricter gun-control laws, following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Florida's …


This week, in honor of World Otter Day, conservation groups are looking to raise awareness about efforts to restore sea otters along more areas of …

There's been a roughly 38% drop in drowning deaths over the past two decades. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

With the unofficial start to summer, pools around Ohio are opening this Memorial Day weekend, and when it comes to swim time, experts encourage …


Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of water recreation season, and before putting on a swimsuit, Iowa environmental experts say being mindful …

A 2019 report from the Economic Policy Institute found teacher shortages were especially acute in higher-poverty schools. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

As the nation processes the horrific shooting in Uvalde, where 19 children and two teachers were killed, teachers' unions across Illinois and America …

Social Issues

The cost of heading out of town this Memorial Day weekend will be higher than past years, with higher gas prices and inflation hitting travelers…

Health and Wellness

One of Connecticut's largest health systems launched a new resource in Hartford this month, aimed at helping patients access healthy and nutritious …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021