Call To Action – DEQ Town Halls

Call to Action – DEQ Town Halls 

The remaining Town Halls are Thursday October 8 from 5pm to 8pm and Wednesday October 14 from 1pm to 4pm!

In March 2020 Governor Brown signed Executive Order 20-04, the Oregon Climate Action Plan (OCAP), to address the climate emergency. EO 20-04 establishes science-based greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goals, and calls for Oregon to reduce its GHG emissions (1) at least 45% below 1990 emissions levels by 2035; and (2) at least 80% below 1990 emissions levels by 2050. 

EO 20-04 makes general directives to many state agencies and commissions to help facilitate the GHG emissions reductions goals, as well as to consider and integrate climate change, climate change impacts into their planning, budgets, investments, and policy making decisions. 

As part of this work, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, DEQ, hosted six virtual technical workshops for detailed discussions on specific program design elements, options, and implications to inform program scoping prior to formal rulemaking during August and September. This month, DEQ is hosting Town Hall public meetings via webinar to share policy design input received during the technical workshops, explain what to expect during the rulemaking phase, and to receive input and comments on program design and priorities. The remaining Town Halls are Thursday October 8 from 5pm to 8pm and Wednesday October 14 from 1pm to 4pm. Links to the meetings are below. 

These webinars are an opportunity to provide comments and to hear from DEQ about: 

  • The purpose of a GHG emissions reduction program
  • How this program will compliment other state initiatives to combat climate change 
  • Key policy questions under consideration for a GHG emissions reduction program 
  • The formal rulemaking process

You can view the slides for the Town Hall in advance and here is a sample comment that FoFF recommends: 

Hello my name is [NAME] and I am a resident of [CITY/TOWN].  I am here today to tell you that climate change is an immediate threat, whose consequences are already being felt by Oregonians across the state.  In my personal experience, [insert no more than 2 sentence personal experience with climate change – extreme weather, wildfire, etc].  Science tells us we only have a short window of time to address this crisis before more irreparable damage is done. Greenhouse gas emissions cause climate change and exclusions for certain emissions or certain polluters set us back and endanger lives while addressing this issue. Big polluters, no matter how much money they have or whose interests they represent should not be given exemptions or loopholes. This includes holding industrial mega-dairies accountable for their methane production. Although we must hold the bad actors in agriculture accountable for their pollution, we must also reward the folks who are doing it right.  Incentives for farmers who are using climate friendly practices like cover cropping, rotational grazing to sequester carbon in their soil, and practicing reduced or no tillage should be included in plans for offset projects.  Finally, black, indigenous, and other people of color have had to bear the brunt of climate change effects here in Oregon and around the globe.  The voices of these communities need to be meaningfully considered in order to make our climate change response equitable and truly sustainable. Thank you. 

And here are some tips, talking points, an advocacy training, and Zoom backgrounds from Renew Oregon: 

Here are some tips for giving testimony:

  • Try to keep your testimony under two minutes.
  • Make it personal. What is your climate story? Why does reducing climate pollution in Oregon matter to you? 
  • Work in at least one of our suggested talking points/piece of data.

Suggested talking points: 

  • Climate change is a crisis and it’s already here. Oregon needs the most ambitious cap and reduce program possible to take responsibility for our state’s share of the problem and reduce air pollution. 
  • Greenhouse gas pollution causes climate change. Simply put, all greenhouse gases must be covered under “cap and reduce,” and all major polluters must be held accountable for what they’re dumping into our air — no exceptions or exemptions.
  • We have less than 10 years to cut climate pollution in half according to science. We’ve wasted 30 years: we can’t wait or let people off the hook.
  • Fossil fuel “natural” gas is one of the most potent sources of climate pollution all sources, including power plants in Oregon, must be required to reduce under this program. Taken together, the fossil gas power plants in Oregon are the largest source of climate pollution outside of oil companies.
  • We elected a legislature to enact major climate legislation, the companies arguing for exemptions and loopholes helped break the democratic system and stop that important bill. They don’t get any loopholes or exemptions.
  • Science tells us immediate action is needed to nearly cut climate pollution in half, in every state and country. This program must prioritize action in this decade and match up with the mandatory state targets for reducing climate pollution. It’s the minimum we can do. 
  • Decades of marginalization have left communities of color and low-income communities on the front lines of climate impacts and fossil fuel pollution. To rightfully address these wrongs, such communities need full and fair representation on any advisory bodies, and must be front and center in decision making and program outcomes.

If you missed our activist training on Tuesday, you can watch the recording here for more info on talking points, the Oregon Climate Action Plan, and more. The passcode is TI3QS^^U

And, if you haven’t already, don’t forget to download the Oregon Climate Action Plan Zoom background images here so you can show your support for climate action during the town hall!

  • Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020; 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020; 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

If you would like to comment but can’t attend either meeting, you can email: CapandReduce@deq.state.or.us and feel free to CC our Policy Director at amy@friendsoffamilyfarmers.org

FoFF is part of the Ag and Water Sub-table of the Oregon Climate Action Plan and will continue to share opportunities for further engagement and will also be making recommendations and comments to various agencies over the next several months. If you have any questions or need assistance engaging, please reach out to our Policy Director at amy@friendsoffamilyfarmers.org.

Thank you for taking the time to express that NOW is the time for strong climate action, as well as to help drown out the voices of corporate polluters who want to maintain the status quo.