Building equitable, affordable clean energy through community energy programs and policy reform in Washington and Oregon..
Policy Update May 2023
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A Critical Moment for Oregon
Oregon’s state revenue forecast was announced this week and it shattered expectations with $2 billion more for the coming biennium than previously expected. However, the ongoing Republican boycott of the state Senate means we might not get to use it. Advocates and lawmakers are concerned that urgent climate action will be blocked, along with other essential legislation. We’re especially worried that Oregon will miss out on the unprecedented level of federal funding created by the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law without legislation in place to unlock and effectively distribute the funds. With so much at stake, we’re hopeful that the legislature will reconvene and carry out its duties.
Even though the net metering bills we supported during this year’s legislative session were not adopted, an element of one bill (HB 1427) was incorporated into the state budget as a line item or “proviso.” The proviso would have commissioned a workgroup and study to determine the future of net metering. However, with no designated budget amount and a short timeline for large amount of work, we feared it would do more harm than good.
Other policy experts shared our concern that a hasty and underfunded process would undermine the intention of a stakeholder workgroup. We raised the issue with the Governor’s office, who agreed. On Wednesday Governor Inslee vetoed the proviso, citing the lack of funding.
We remain committed to developing an equitable statewide approach to net metering for Washington and are working with fellow stakeholders to determine the best approach before next year’s session.
Thank you for reading our clean energy policy updates on the Washington and Oregon state legislatures. We appreciate your readership!
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