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Statewide, OR—The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is seeking people from across the state to be part of a new Equity Advisory Committee to help guide the Climate Protection Program. The deadline for interested individuals to provide a brief statement of interest has been extended to July 8, 2022.

The committee will be a key partner for the program’s community climate investments, which will be used to help Oregon transition away from fossil fuels to cleaner forms of energy. The committee will play an important role in determining what types of emissions reduction projects are supported by community climate investments and where those projects would be located.

“As Oregon transitions from fossil fuels towards cleaner, affordable and renewable fuels it is critical that all Oregonians have access to these fuels and can share in the economic and health benefits,” said Colin McConnaha, manager of DEQ’s Office of Greenhouse Gas Programs. “The Climate Protection Program and projects funded by community climate investments are important tools for achieving these goals.”

Community climate investments are prioritized for projects that benefit environmental justice communities: those communities overburdened by pollution, disproportionally impacted by climate change, and with less access to cleaner fuels. DEQ most wants to hear from people who are from or involved with BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), tribal, rural and other environmental justice communities in Oregon.

Potential committee members must be committed to:
• Addressing climate change and its impacts
• Improving access to cleaner, renewable fuels in Oregon
• Reducing pollution and improving health for all communities
• Uplifting traditionally underrepresented communities

DEQ needs people throughout the state to provide their thoughts on what types of clean energy, energy efficiency and other greenhouse emissions reduction projects are most needed in their communities. Committee members should have lived experience, expertise or interest in environmental justice or equity, interest in the health impacts of climate change, or interest in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Committee members may include representatives from community-based organizations or associations, tribes or tribal associations, environmental justice advocates, environmental advocates, academic researchers, or those who work in climate or energy fields. DEQ will prioritize convening a committee that represents multiple regions across Oregon.

The Climate Protection Program, which took effect Jan. 1, sets a declining limit, or cap, on greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels used throughout Oregon, including diesel, gasoline, natural gas, and propane. The cap applies to transportation, residential, commercial, and industrial settings. The program, along with other state initiatives, will reduce emissions 50% by 2035 and 90% by 2050.
Under the program, DEQ issues permits for greenhouse gas emissions, called compliance instruments. One compliance instrument allows a company to emit one metric ton of greenhouse gases. The number of permits issued by DEQ declines each year as the emissions cap is reduced. Companies regulated under the program can also choose to use a limited number of community climate investment credits in place of reducing their emissions. Companies can choose to earn these credits by contributing funds to DEQ approved entities. Those entities then invest those funds in projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon’s communities. Companies will demonstrate compliance with the program’s first three-year reporting period in 2025.

Media contact: Harry Esteve; 503-951-3856;

About Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality protects human health and the environment by controlling air and water pollution, reducing the impacts of manufactured products and cleaning up contaminated properties. DEQ engages the public in decision-making and helps communities solve problems in ways that are economically and environmentally sustainable.


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