The 2011 Oregon Legislative session has reached the halfway mark. As committees race to meet April deadlines for action on hundreds of bills, the level of intensity on environmental legislation has increased dramatically.
Unfortunately, there are far more environmental threats moving forward than good pro-environment legislation. By the end of the week of April 18, the Oregon House will have potentially passed legislation to make it easier to shoot Oregon’s wolves, make timber production the primary purpose of our state lands, and rollback of voter-approved protections for cougars. Other bills getting hearings include an effort to restrict the Department of Environmental Quality from implementing new water quality standards meant to protect public health, and legislation that would declare biomass energy to be ‘carbon neutral’ while exempting biomass energy producers from greenhouse gas reporting rules.
Meanwhile, legislation to ban single-use plastic bags appears to be stalled, as is a bill that would stimulate green job creation by requiring energy performance scores for all buildings. Legislation that would speed state wetland crossing permits for LNG pipelines passed the House earlier this session, and will likely be taken up in the Senate in May.
As the cold and rainy weather continues to linger in Oregon this spring, only a few bright spots are emerging at the Oregon legislature – a key initiative of Governor Kitzhaber’s to create jobs by weatherizing Oregon schools appears to be moving forward, as is a ban on the chemical BPA in certain children’s food containers.
There is no time like the present to make your voice heard for Oregon’s wolves, forests, clean water and the climate! Click on the links above to learn more information about the legislation mentioned and find out how you can take action TODAY!