2021 Environmental Scorecard for the Oregon Legislature

The Bill Graveyard

While we had four significant wins this session including the Oregon Clean Energy Opportunity package of bills––100% Energy for All, Energy Affordability, and Healthy Homes––and comprehensive wildfire policy, we still had a number of important environmental bills that died due to industry pressure on legislators.

Good Bills that Died

OCN PriorityHB 2357 OFRI Reform. The OFRI Reform bill originally called for the elimination of the Oregon Forest Resource Institute (OFRI) and the redirection of its funds toward climate-smart, scientifically sound forest management. The amended bill reformed the agency by cutting its budget in half and redirecting its funds––including eliminating their advertising budget which they used to mislead Oregonians about the quality of the state's forest policies. Passed the House but not the Senate.

HB 2398 Reach Code. Allowed cities and counties to adopt the state Reach Code as the mandatory building code in their jurisdiction, ensuring new buildings had stronger energy efficient standards. Passed the House but not the Senate.

HB 2479 Black Carbon. Modified the definition of “global warming” to include certain aerosol air contaminants, including black carbon, and would have directed the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to estimate black carbon emissions in Oregon and recommend mitigation strategies.

HB 2488 Environmental Justice in Land Use. Amended Statewide Land Use Planning Goals to promote the participation of disadvantaged and historically underserved communities.

HB 2495 Toxic Free Kids Act Update. Updated the existing Toxic Free Kids Act program to align certain definitions with other states, improved efficiency of Oregon Health Plan implementation through removing limits to how many chemicals can be added to their database, and adding brand name and product model for clarity in reporting. Passed the House but not the Senate.

HB 2558 Transit Near Housing. Allowed more housing to be built in residential areas near fixed-route transit, increasing diverse and relatively more affordable housing, reducing household transportation costs and greenhouse gas emissions, and creating a win-win for more livable communities.

HB 2698 Right to Repair. We generate way too much waste, and companies use their power in the marketplace to make things harder to repair––adding to the amount of waste going to landfills. This bill would have given every Oregonian and every small business access to the parts, tools, manuals, and schematics they need to repair products.

HB 2728 Banning Coyote Killing Contests. Would have prohibited any person from conducting or participating in any contest, competition, tournament or derby that involved needlessly killing coyotes for prizes or other inducement, or for entertainment. Passed the House but not the Senate.

HB 2813 Air Quality for Outdoor Workers. Required employers of outdoor workers to track air quality, and ensured their employees were given the protections they needed to continue working outside safely.

Bad Bills that Died

OCN Major ThreatHB 2610 Gutting Fish Passage Laws. Provided sweeping rollbacks to existing fish passage laws, endangering many threatened and endangered fish species.

OCN Major ThreatHB 3072 Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) Expansion. Allowed premature and unnecessary Urban Growth Boundary expansions into urban reserves, including on to farm, forest, and ranch lands.

HB 2334 Exempt Businesses From Regulations. Changed statutes to exempt small business from agency rules altogether under certain circumstances. Statutes already grant businesses special consideration in agency rulemakings––making this bill unnecessary and dangerous.

HB 3167 Predator Control Districts. Repealed the sunset on predator damage control districts established in certain counties in 2015. It would've made more financial resources available for counties to contract Wildlife Services to kill predators with no requirement to consider use of non-lethal tools first. Passed the House but not the Senate.

HB 3228 Water Management. Allowed water right holders to develop water management plans that would allow them to self govern water right permitting, transfers, exchanges, etc. without adhering to existing statutory standards, environmental protections and/or public processes––effectively takes the Oregon Water Resources Department out of permitting and regulatory role, and instead allowing local control of public waters with minimal sideboards.

 
 

About OLCV

The Oregon League of Conservation Voters is a non-partisan organization with a simple mission: to pass laws that protect Oregon's environmental legacy, elect pro-environment candidates to office, and hold all of our elected officials accountable.

For more information about OLCV, visit our website at olcv.org.

About the Scorecard

For more than 40 years, OLCV has protected Oregon's natural legacy. An essential part of our work is holding our elected officials accountable. The OLCV Environmental Scorecard is not only one of our most important accountability tools, but also a tradition. The first scorecard was published in 1973.

By sharing how each member of the Legislature voted on the most critical conservation bills, we help Oregonians understand whether legislators listened to their constituents, or if they listened to special interest groups instead. It also serves as a summary of environmental bills and includes special recognition of the legislative champions.