A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Executive order: What Gov. Brown wants

Written March 10th, 2020 by Hasso Hering


You’re looking at the signature page of Gov. Kate Brown’s executive order to reduce Oregon’s greenhouse gas emissions. The order came out Tuesday. One of the things it shows is that the governor doesn’t write cursive.

It also shows, or implies, that there was no need for the massive carbon cap and trade bill that prompted the Republican walkout during the February legislative session. The order implies this because it claims state agencies have all the authority they need under existing laws to achieve a virtual elimination of fossil fuels in 30 years.

If the authority exists, why fight over the cap and trade bill, which was around 200 pages long and hard to understand? In a mere 14 pages, the governor lays out her program to reduce Oregon greenhouse gas emissions to at least 45 percent below the level of 1990 by the year 2035, and at least 80 percent below the 1990 level by 2050. She says those goals are science-based. Well, who can argue with that?

Her order is aimed at 16 state agencies and departments, from Business Oregon to the Public Utility Commission. She tells them to use all their legal authority and discretion to do everything they can to achieve her science-based reduction targets.

First, though, they are to make plans, hold meetings with each other and various groups, and submit plans to her by certain deadlines starting in this May and running through September. If the agencies do what they’re told, it looks like they won’t have much time to do anything else, including the jobs they were formed to do.

“The following agencies,” Brown’s order says on Page 5, “are directed to report to the Governor by May 15, 2020, on proposed actions within their statutory authority to reduce GHG emissions and mitigate climate change impacts: DEQ, DLCD, ODA, ODOE, ODFW, ODF, ODOT, OWRD, OWEB, and PUC.”

While they’re writing their reports, they are also ordered to participate in an interagency work group on climate impacts to impacted communities. They’ll be joined in these meetings by the Environmental Justice Task Force, Oregon Global Warming Commission, Parks and Recreation Department, and Oregon Sustainability Board.

There’s much more, including details such as these: Shower heads, faucets, and residential ventilating fans. For these are other gizmos sold or installed in Oregon, the Department of Energy is ordered to update energy efficiency standards.

Meanwhile, the Building Codes Division is instructed to rewrite by 2030 the construction codes to make new houses and commercial buildings at least 60 percent more energy efficient than the code requirements of 2006. By Sept. 15, the governor wants a report on that too. “The report should be updated every three years thereafter.”

Speaking of reports, the Oregon Health Authority is ordered to produce one by next year “on the impacts of climate change on youth depression and mental health.” (Presumably they’ll work on that when the corona virus is not taking up their time.)

The crux of the whole thing is the governor’s order to the DEQ. That agency is supposed to “cap and reduce” emissions from gasoline and diesel fuel consistent with Brown’s desired overall reductions by 2035 and 2050. It’s supposed to do the same capping and reducing of emissions from natural gas and other liquid and gaseous fuels.

And by the way, the DEQ is also supposed to “prevent and recover food waste” so that food waste is reduced by 50 percent by 2030.

It would be a surprise if present laws give the DEQ the power to do any of that. If it tries anyway, expect the lawsuits to fly.

Charging stations at LBCC in Albany. Gov Brown wants ODOT to study ways to speed up the electrification of the transportation sector.





24 responses to “Executive order: What Gov. Brown wants”

  1. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    The Oregon constitution does not grant the governor power to create law. She can order state agencies to enforce existing laws. I’d expect a legal challenge.

    It’s sad that even with a super majority in both the house and senate, her powers of persuasion are so weak that she has to resort to authoritarian tactics.

    Her action speaks more to her inability to govern than her desire to protect the environment.

  2. My Real Name John Hartman says:

    Thank the good Lord that our Governor has taken decisive action in the face of Republican Do-Less-Than-Nothings. In one respect, Governor Brown is just like Trump. When the Congress fails to act, Trump issues one Executive Order after another. Given the GOP’s Clown Tactics most recently on display in Salem, we ought be grateful that at least our Governor has the future of our State in mind. Thank you, Governor Brown.

    • Al Nyman says:

      How many executive orders did your hero Obama issue including legalizing millions of illegal immigrants. I’ve lived in this state since 1949 and you liberals have destroyed our roads, caused us to pay at least 30 cents more for gas, created a 40 billion dollar PERS deficit which is over $10000 per resident and still you can only talk about Trump. People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

      • My Real Name John Hartman says:

        Just sayin’ No one on the Right seems to mind when Trump brandishes his black Sharpie, signing one destructive edict after another, but the earth is certain to shudder to a halt if a Democrat does the same. The glass houses/stone throwing analogy was perhaps ill-conceived, wouldn’t you say?

  3. Terry says:

    What Kate Brown wants is “money”!
    All of it.
    She’s using a nonexistent problem that she has no way to affect as a tool to rape Oregonians financially.

  4. Michael Actin says:

    Kate Brown is an idiot and so are the people who keep voting for her!!!

  5. LARRY MARTELL says:

    Comrade Kate has to have democrat slush fund. Worse govenor EVER !

  6. Janet Suyama says:

    Thank you for the report. This is outrageous.

  7. Peggy says:

    We need to get her out of office. All these issues need to be voted on.

    • J. Jacobson says:

      Does your suggestion include Rep. Boshart-Davis, who thus far seems like she’s on a busman’s holiday at taxpayer expense.

  8. Ean says:

    This is the problem when legislatures fail to legislate. More rules are created by executive action and are then challenged in the courts. The courts are becoming increasingly politicized leading to multiple layers of appeals and inconsistent legal rulings. Venue shopping is becoming more and more common (see the timber lawsuit). The only real benefactors are attorneys, everyone else loses. This problem appears to be even worse at the federal level. The days of legislators showing up, working in earnest to find compromise and everyone leaving with the best deal they can get for their perspective side appears to be long gone.

    • Ray Kopczynski says:

      You’re spot on!

      When any one party abrogates their responsibility to legislate (and this applies to both parties who have used this cry-baby tactic), the only option appears to be to mandate by fiat — at both state & federal level….

      Being non-affiliated, it’s kind of fun sitting outside and watching the “Grand Guignol” unfolding…

    • Mac says:

      They wouldn’t have to “legislate” if it was put to vote as it should have been.

  9. Martha Flora says:

    I read that the bill had two parts: One to reduce pollution, another to use proceeds from cap and trade to support clean energy. This year’s bill with special provisions for rural areas seemed like a win-win

  10. Richard Vannice says:

    Oregon schools don’t, for the most part, teach cursive any longer. Speaks well for the school system.

  11. Jim Enel says:

    And for the rest of the polluting world – Africa, middle East, India, Asia, South American, parts of Russia & China – just what order will the Salem Cluck give them? The 1st inklings of Socialist Democrats ( aka-Commie) are showing their mark.

  12. Delfina says:

    Did our Republican representatives ever propose an alternate solution to what has been proposed. If they would do their jobs instead of walking out Gov. Kate would not have to sign her own bill.

    • Logrhythmically says:

      Why yes. Indeed they did. It would seem that you haven’t been paying attention.

  13. MsJ says:

    Well, if Gov. Brown doesn’t take the initiative, it’s clear Oregon Republicans never will, they vacate the State instead.

    Always best to put profit before planet, regardless of what the science tells you. The R’s are about the here & now, future generations including their own progeny are to deal with what’s left.

    Sad truth is, even Gov. Brown’s proposals aren’t going to be substantial or fast enough as the climate change models lag behind what is actually happening in the real world.

  14. Mac says:

    Just a sales tax, which we have voted down over and over. Doesn’t cap or trade anything. Oregon isn’t hurting the environment, just a crooked politician finding a way to make money.

  15. Dc says:

    You sit there and complain about the Republicans walking out but yet the Democrats did it and yet you don’t care about that it’s OK for the Democrats to do is not OK for the Republicans to do things that affect the people of Oregon should be voted on by the people of Oregon we have a governor that doesn’t give a shit about us it’s all money
    There are things that are going on in our state that are more important than the greenhouse effect or cap and trade right now what about our adult and family services what about child welfare where they are failing

  16. Bill Kapaun says:

    Kate Brown is worried about a few million Oregonians polluting the world.
    Why doesn’t she worry about things like this?

  17. Speak2Truth says:

    Further proof that Democrats don’t believe in democracy, when it gets in the way of the power and loot they are trying to grab.

    Note: Restoring CO2 to our atmosphere is restoring life to this planet, restoring plankton to our oceans, pushing back deserts, greening the globe. But socialists do all they can to create poverty, not plenty. Here we go.


HH Today: A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley
Albany Albany City Council Albany council Albany downtown Albany Fire Department Albany housing Albany parks Albany Planning Commission Albany police Albany Post Office Albany Public Works Albany riverfront Albany Station Albany streets Albany traffic Albany urban renewal Andy Olson Benton County Benton County parks bicycling bike lanes Bowman Park Bryant Park Calapooia River CARA City of Albany climate change coronavirus COVID-19 Cox Creek path Crocker Lane cumberland church cycling Dave Clark Path Daylight saving time DEQ downtown Albany Edgewater Village global warming gun control Highway 20 Interstate 5 Kitzhaber Linn County marijuana medical marijuana Millersburg North Albany North Albany Road Obama ODOT Oregon coast Oregon legislature Pacific Power Portland & Western Republic Services Riverside Drive Santiam Canal Talking Water Gardens The Banks Tom Cordier Union Pacific urban renewal Water Avenue Willamette River

Copyright 2020. All Rights Reserved. Hasso Hering.
Website Serviced by Santiam Communications
Hasso Hering