HB 2186 outlines measures to met energy goals set in 2007 session.

 (SALEM, Ore.) – Senate Democrats passed legislation this evening addressing climate change and improving energy efficiency, meeting a key goal of their 2009 legislative agenda.

HB 2186 authorizes the Environmental Quality Commission (EQC) to adopt a Low Carbon Fuel Standard to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation and conduct a study on retrofitting to improve aerodynamic drag on medium and heavy duty trucks.

“It is in Oregon’s self interest to be a leader in the very practices and technologies that will solve climate change because we will reap the financial gains of exporting those solutions to others,” said Senator Jackie Dingfelder (D-Portland), chair of the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee.

“This is an important step towards meeting the goals Oregon has set for reducing greenhouse gases.”

The Oregon legislature adopted goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions during the 2007 session. HB 2186 begins the process of defining the path to meeting these energy efficiency goals.

“This bill strikes a balance between the need to address our carbon output while not putting an unfair burden on Oregon business,” said Senator Rick Metsger (D-Welches), chair of the Senate Business and Transportation Committee.

“Many hours of deliberation went into this bill and in the end we’ve created a product that is forward thinking and sensitive to these challenging economic times.”

The version of HB 2186 passed this morning was the product of a work group established after the bill was sent to the Senate. Significant provisions of C-engrossed bill include:

* A Low Carbon Fuel Standard to reduce lifecycle green house gas emissions from gasoline and diesel.

* A process to ensure that replacement parts for vehicle emissions control systems perform as well as the original equipment.

* A requirement for auto mechanics to check and fill tires when otherwise servicing vehicles to improve fuel efficiency.

* Authority to restrict unnecessary idling or commercial ships to reduce wasted fuel.

* A Metropolitan Planning Organization Task Force to look at other ways to reduce green house gas emissions through alternative land use and transportation scenarios.

HB 2186 directs the Department of Environmental Quality to provide regular reports on implementation to the Legislature, including to the interim legislative committees during 2010, and to the 2011, 2013, and 2015 Legislative Assemblies.

The report must include a description of any significant policy decisions made in the adoption of the rules and the manner in which the EQC complied with the legislation’s requirements.

“Our caucus has developed a strong record this session of passing legislation that is forward thinking environmentally while also sensitive to the tough economic climate many businesses face,” said Senate Majority Leader Richard Devlin (D-Tualatin).

“This bill is a fitting example of finding that equilibrium and meeting our commitment to address climate change and improve energy efficiency in Oregon.”

Low carbon fuel standards will start July 1st 2011 and will sunset on December 31st 2015.

The bill will now go to the House for concurrence.


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