Oregon Legislates: Our Climate Priorities for 2024

Climate Budget for 2024: Lowering Families’ Housing and Transportation Costs

A Climate Budget brings an equitable and rapid transition from fossil fuels to clean energy closer within reach while increasing the resilience of our communities. Funding to enable urgently needed home repairs and efficiency upgrades and to make new and used electric vehicles more affordable will lower the cost of living, improve health and resilience, and reduce climate pollution. Supporting needed investment in these popular programs was requested during the 2023 legislative session, and needed more than ever.

 Affordable Energy Bills and Resilient Housing: $15M for Healthy Homes Program

  • What is it? The Healthy Homes program, run by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), helps low-income folks afford the changes needed to keep their home livable. This unique program is focused on health and safety, allowing for home repairs like radon and mold abatement, fixing holes in walls or roofs, and energy efficiency upgrades. Healthy Homes fills in gaps left by other state and federal energy efficiency and weatherization funding. It can be braided together to help pay for home repairs for low-income households that will cut climate pollution, improve health, and lower energy bills.
  • Why it’s a priority now: We’re in a housing and climate crisis. The Healthy Homes program addresses both. Solving Oregon’s housing crisis is about more than building more housing, it’s about keeping vulnerable people from losing their current homes. An estimated 49% of Oregonians live in housing built before 1980. Much of this housing is energy-inefficient and in need of repairs. This leads to higher utility bills, sickness, and lower quality of life, especially for those most vulnerable among us. The Healthy Homes program directly helps address these issues - but it is poised to run out of money without more funding now!

Affordable Access to Clean Transportation: $20M for Charge Ahead EV rebates

  • What is it? Everyone deserves a chance to participate in the green energy transition, but not everyone can afford to do so. The Charge Ahead Rebate program, run by DEQ, is one proven solution to help level the electric vehicle (EV) purchasing field. The Charge Ahead Rebate offers low-and moderate-income Oregonians a $5,000 cash rebate for the purchase of a new or used EV in addition to a standard EV rebate. EV drivers can save thousands of dollars on fuel and maintenance costs compared to gas-powered cars. Increasing equitable access to EVs can improve household budgets and reduce climate and air pollution.
  • Why it’s a priority now:  Electrifying vehicles is a top priority to reduce climate pollution from our biggest source: the transportation sector. Due to unprecedented demand, the Oregon Clean Vehicle Rebate Program, including the Charge Ahead Rebate program, ran out of funds, and the program entered suspension on May 1, 2023. Without more funding now for Charge Ahead rebates, the program will not be able to stay open for more than two months in 2024. Without Charge Ahead rebates available, the gap between those who can afford to go electric and those who currently cannot will widen.

Our Priority Bills to Accelerate our Clean Energy Future and Promote Economic Development:

  • SB 1559: Updating the State’s Greenhouse Gas Goals for Climate Leadership Oregon’s statewide goals for reducing climate pollution have not been updated in 15 years, and it's past time to remedy that. We are out of step with the best available science of limiting warming to 1.5℃ that has guided more recent climate goals for the international community, the U.S. federal government, and our neighbors of Washington and California. These pollution reduction targets are a critical way to demonstrate Oregon’s commitment to climate action and to measure our progress toward achieving those goals.
  • HB 4015: Removing Barriers to Siting Battery Storage Projects We need to update our state’s siting processes to allow for newer technologies like stand-alone battery storage. This bill lessens the barriers for a developer who wants to build a much-needed battery energy storage system by allowing them to use the state Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC) process to site the project.
  • HB 4112: Attracting Clean Tech Leadership Oregon should be a leader in attracting clean energy businesses and manufacturing. With Inflation Reduction Act incentives available to clean tech manufacturing like battery and heat pump components and other states putting together incentive packages, now is the time for Oregon to grab a slice of this economic development pie.
  • HB 4080: Harnessing the Potential of Offshore Wind Floating offshore wind on the Oregon coast has the potential to add 3 gigawatts of clean energy into our regional grid (enough to power at least one million homes). This bill would authorize the state to develop a “Roadmap” for offshore wind in Oregon. This Roadmap would engage stakeholders more deeply to ensure an inclusive, robust, and transparent process in developing this renewable resource. The bill also mandates fair labor standards for the construction and manufacturing of component parts.

Our Legislative update linked below:

 

Last updated 2/6/2024
 

Read on for the latest updates on Climate Solutions' work in Oregon:

Oregon State Government

Turning the wheel of revolution

by Gregg Small on

Following Portland and Multnomah County, our region can and will lead the way towards 100% clean energy.

Oregon’s largest city and county take bold step towards 100% clean

by David Van't Hof on

The same day President Trump announced his disastrous decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement, Portland and Multnomah County became the…

Your help is needed to protect Clean Fuels in Oregon

by David Van't Hof on

Fossil fuel companies are stepping up their attacks on one of Oregon’s most successful strategies to reduce climate pollution: the Clean Fuels…

Craving for clean energy leads Microsoft to quit PSE

by Seth Zuckerman on

Portland and Multnomah County aim for 100% renewable energy, Tesla announces electric semi and pick-up trucks, Maryland to offer tax credits for…

What Oregon's Clean Energy Jobs bill does (and why you should care)

by Meredith Connolly on

Everything you wanted to know about cap and invest but were afraid to ask. 

Cully neighborhood test drives electric car sharing

by Mara Gross on

Last week, Drive Oregon kicked off an EV pilot project that makes three electric cars available to Hacienda CDC and community members in…

Ten US states show economic benefits from capping climate pollution

by Meredith Connolly on

The track records of nine Northeastern states and California, which have already put a price on carbon pollution, show us what a tremendous…

Keeping the Frack Out: Clean Energy for Oregon

by David Van't Hof on

Building new gas-fired power plants will lock Oregon into decades of climate-disrupting fossil fuel energy at a moment when clean energy sources like…

EPA to put mpg gains on hold, but EVs grow anyway

by Seth Zuckerman on

Oregon lawmakers weigh competing bills to price carbon pollution, China’s coal consumption falls for third straight year, Trump’s EPA budget calls…

To protect the Oregon we love, now is the time to act on climate change

by David Van't Hof on

The Oregon legislature is getting to work, and the state has a great opportunity to grow its clean energy economy.

Rise of EVs and PVs set to disrupt energy markets

by Seth Zuckerman on

Audi president tells dealers that EVs will dominate market within a decade, Toshiba to quit building nuclear power plants, Sweden plans to be climate…

Making the Grade: Oregon’s Clean Energy Report Card

by Meredith Connolly on

On the 10th anniversary of Oregon’s climate goals, a new Oregon Clean Energy Report Card assesses what has been accomplished and where we still need…

Tillerson gets a grilling, knives sharpened for Pruitt

by Seth Zuckerman on

US sends $500 million to Green Climate Fund, Chinese President Xi urges Trump to stand by Paris accord, hacktivists prepare offshore archive of…

Oregon’s climate leadership: prospects and priorities

by David Van't Hof on

The way forward is aggressive action at the state and local levels. Here's how we're planning to build on our success in Oregon. 

Three cheers for triple climate action in Portland

by Mara Gross on

Portland continues to lead the way with big steps including banning new fossil fuel terminals, improving energy efficiency in homes with energy…

Give for a brighter future

Connect

Join our email list to learn about what we do and how to get involved. 

Oregon Events

There are no upcoming events posted at this time

Oregon is falling behind on climate action

A growing list of states and territories have adopted carbon pricing policies, enacted more robust low-carbon fuel standards, and committed to a timeline for transitioning to 100% clean electricity, but Oregon is not among them.

Read More

FILED: 100% clean air ballot initiatives

Earlier this week, our coalition of partners officially filed critical climate protection ballot measures with the Oregon Secretary of State's office, having collected twice as many signatures as needed to qualify.

Read More

AAA Gets a Triple "F" on Climate Policy

The end of Oregon’s 2019 legislative session exposed some of the egregious corporate lobbying in Salem that blocks climate action – sometimes in public, but many times behind the scenes in the halls of the State Capitol. One of those companies is the American Automobile Association (AAA) of Oregon.  Yes, the same AAA that you call for a lifeline when your car breaks down – but apparently that lifeline doesn’t extend to the climate emergency we’re currently experiencing.

Read More