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  • Rick Bonetti

The Fight Is Not Over

On December 20, 2023 the Oregon Court of Appeals found that Oregon’s cornerstone Climate Protection Program was "invalid on procedural grounds" after the oil and gas industry and their allies challenged the rule. 

A coalition of environmental justice, climate, and business organizations intervened defensively in the case:

“The oil and gas industry just delivered a lump of coal — literally — into Oregon’s Christmas stocking. Today’s Court ruling focused on a procedural technicality. The Court did not undermine the Environmental Quality Commission’s authority to set climate pollution reductions on the oil and gas industry.

We look forward to supporting any agency actions to address procedural requirements without delay.

Oregon must move forward to protect our communities, especially Black, Indigenous, people of color, low-income, rural, and other communities who have historically borne the brunt of climate pollution and economic disinvestment.

We have faced wildfires that have wiped out entire communities, toxic smoke choking our lungs, deadly heat waves, and record-breaking droughts; we will not stop holding the oil and gas industry accountable for the impact it is having on our lives, our families, and our communities.

Upholding the cornerstone Climate Protection Program is essential to prevent incalculable harm to Oregon families, workers, and local economies, now and in the future.” 

More information on the impact of the ruling is available from reporter Alex Baumhardt at the Oregon Capital Chronicle.

OEC offers the following background:

The Oregon Environmental Quality Commission adopted the Climate Protection Program in December 2021 following an extensive 18-month rulemaking and robust stakeholder engagement process. The Department of Environmental Quality received more than 7,600 public comments on the CPP rules, the overwhelming majority of which were in favor of the program.

The CPP requires oil and gas companies in Oregon to reduce their emissions 50% by 2035 and 90% by 2050; establishes first-ever requirements for major industrial facilities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and enables millions of dollars annually to be invested in clean energy projects that benefit environmental justice and other communities across Oregon.

NW Natural, Cascade Natural Gas, Western States Petroleum Association, Oregon Farm Bureau, Oregon Business & Industry Association, Associated Oregon Loggers, and a dozen industry petitioners filed a challenge to the program in March 2022.


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