Dear OSCC Members and Colleagues:
December is not supposed to be this busy! It's important that we're all up to speed on what's happening now.
Cleaner Air Oregon Comments Due December 22nd
DEQ Director Richard Whitman reiterated to a meeting of business representatives at the NW Environmental Conference that passage of the air toxics rules was the top priority of the DEQ over the coming months.
OSCC believes the proposed rules - the most stringent air quality rules in the nation - will be devastating to the manufacturing sector and others. No other regulations we've seen in our years of advocacy has the potential to drive businesses out of the state or force them to curtail or shut down operations in Oregon as these proposed regulations do.
We highly recommend that members consider submitting comment to DEQ before the public comment period closes on Friday, December 22nd.
Sample comments can be found here.
Cap & Trade Legislative Debate Simmering for 2018
Members are encouraged to review the following documents for the Cap & Trade debate:
Our insight for 2018 is that there will be a vigorous legislative debate, and both sides will run public relations campaigns tantamount to an actual ballot measure campaign. But at the end of the day, we have reason to believe that there are not sufficient votes to pass a Cap & Trade bill in 2018. While we believe that House leadership could potentially twist enough arms to squeak through a vote with a bare majority of 31 votes, it would be very messy...and then it would run into stiff headwinds in the Oregon Senate.
More Capitol Happenings & Why it Matters
House Revenue Committee Chair Phil Barnhart (D-Eugene) announced yesterday he would not seek reelection. Why is this important? Because Barnhart has been one of the most powerful progressive legislators who has shaped tax policy more than anyone over the past 8 years. His departure is interesting for two reasons: (1) it potentially leaves the Revenue chairmanship to an equally progressive Portland legislator - Rep Barbara Smith Warner, and (2) it could lead to a very competitive open seat election in 2018 in a district that has gotten competitive in recent cycles.
Also yesterday, Denyc Boles announced her intention to pursue the appointment to the House seat being vacated by Rep. Jodi Hack (R-Salem). Hack was a promising legislator who opted to take the position of CEO of the Oregon Home Builders Association. Boles is a public affairs official for Salem Health. Her announcement makes her the instant frontrunner for the seat.
As always, if you need more detail or insight, get a hold of us.