Oregon’s Legislative Session

Oregon’s legislative session opens up January 22 and runs through June 30th. Let’s keep an eye on Senator Frederick’s Senate Bill 424, which allows a farmer who’s crops are contaminated by pollen from genetically engineered seed to take action against the patent holder (not the other way around!). Thanks to Our Family Farmers down in Jackson County for initiating this!

House Bill 2619, sponsored by Representative Marty Wilde, prohibits sale, purchase or use of pesticide products containing neonicotinoids in Oregon. These are a class of pesticides which are as addictive to our pollinator friends as nicotine, and have been implicated in the mass die offs of honey bees and other pollinators. The City of Eugene, Oregon, became the first community in the nation to specifically ban from city property the use of neonicotinoid pesticides in 2014. This is a good thing to follow!

Senate Bill 103 reclassifies industrial dairies as industries in terms of water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions should be regulated as such, and allows local governments to adopt human health and safety ordinances restricting or prohibiting air and water emissions by dairies classified as industrial facilities. It looks worth supporting.

House Bill 2493 by Representative Holvey prohibits aerial application of pesticides to land within watershed of McKenzie River or its tributaries, or of Santiam River or its tributaries. Finally! Let’s give this one all we’ve got!

Renew Oregon’s Clean Energy Jobs Bill

The Renew Oregon coalition is championing a policy that will:

  • Cap: Limit climate pollution statewide for emitters of 25,000 tons of greenhouse gases per year, about the equivalent of burning 133 train cars full of coal. In other words, your favorite brewery or the store down the street will not fall under the cap, only the largest polluters in the state. The cap will decline over time through 2050 to ensure we reach our reduction targets and provide certainty for business.
  • Price: The largest emitters will pay for every ton of climate pollution they put into our air. The price is stable and adjusted over time to ensure the cap is not exceeded giving polluters incentive to cut emissions and allowing flexibility to do so efficiently and at least cost.
  • Invest: Hundreds of millions of dollars per year will be reinvested in clean energy solutions – like affordable solar, energy efficiency upgrades to homes and businesses, more transportation options, and job training programs. Investments will be targeted to rural communities for projects like wild fire prevention, drought protection, and clean energy. Equity and a just transition to clean energy are central to the policy. https://www.reneworegon.org/clean_energy_jobs

There will be more coming up. The easy way for me (and you) to keep an eye on this legislative session is online at https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2019R1. If you click on “Bills” and do a text search for farm, farmer, agriculture, pesticide, etc. you come up with a list of bills to glance at. Let me know what you find so I can share with everyone!