Defending Oregon’s Climate Policy

Crag clients intervene to defend Climate Protection Program from oil and gas industry attack

On September 7, 2022, Crag filed a motion to intervene to defend Oregon’s landmark Climate Protection Program against legal attacks by the oil and gas industry. Crag filed the motion on behalf of a coalition of environmental justice, climate, and business organizations that includes Beyond Toxics, Climate Solutions, Environmental Defense Fund, Oregon Business for Climate, and Oregon Environmental Council.

In December 2021, after an extensive 18-month rulemaking process, the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission (EQC) adopted the Climate Protection Program (CPP). The CPP requires oil companies and fossil gas utilities in Oregon to reduce their emissions 50 percent by 2035 and 90 percent by 2050, establishes first-ever requirements for major industrial facilities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and enables millions of dollars annually to be invested in clean energy projects that benefit environmental justice and other communities across Oregon. 

The Climate Protection Program will also:

  • Improve public health and resiliency for Oregon communities most harmed by fossil fuels and climate impacts, saving billions of dollars annually in avoided health costs.
  • Enable investments in clean energy projects to support job creation, economic vitality, and cleaner, cheaper, healthier energy and transportation options in communities of color, Tribal, low-income, rural, coastal and other communities across the state.
  • Incentivize technological innovation and advancement that will benefit Oregon’s workers and consumers by transitioning to a clean energy economy.

In an attempt to delay climate action, fossil fuel and other industry groups have filed three lawsuits against the CPP. On behalf of our clients, Crag is defending the Climate Protection Program and the EQC’s authority to adopt it. 

“The CPP is a necessary first step for Oregon to meet its climate goals. Defending the EQC’s authority to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is not only necessary to protect the CPP, but also future climate policies,” said Crag attorney, Maura Fahey.

Looking Ahead

Crag’s clients are joined by Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), who filed a separate motion to intervene. The Oregon Court of Appeals granted both motions shortly after they were filed. The case will proceed throughout the rest of the year and into 2023.  

Read the Press Release here:

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