2017 Environmental Scorecard for the Oregon Legislature

The Bill Graveyard

We had two significant wins this session: Saving the Elliott State Forest and putting sensible restrictions on suction dredge mining. We also helped kill some disastrous bills that would have fundamentally dismantled our land use laws. Despite our victories, there were several bills important to the environment that died due to successful industry pressure on legislators.


OCN PriorityHB 2135 / SB 1070 Clean Energy Jobs We are championing a policy that will cap climate pollution using the best available scientific guidelines for limiting Oregon’s impacts on climate change; price all qualified greenhouse gas emissions under the cap; and invest proceeds from pricing climate pollution into clean energy like wind and solar, public transit, energy efficient homes and businesses, and more. Equity and a just transition to clean energy are central to the policy.

HB 2020 Oregon has 14 state agencies that manage natural resources. HB 2020 sought to rename the Oregon Department of Energy to encompass climate work and help prepare our many state agencies to work on mitigating climate change.

HB 2269 Portland has some of the worst air quality nationwide. Residents face serious and life-threatening illnesses every year as a result of poor air quality. HB 2269 would have funded Cleaner Air Oregon, a critical program for air quality monitoring. Cleaner Air Oregon’s work will continue, but with very limited resources — and at taxpayers’ expense, rather than making polluters pay.

HB 2705 Due to climate change and other factors, we will inevitably face a water shortage in the future. This bill would have required water right holders to measure and report their groundwater and surface water use in Oregon.

HB 2706 This was an important push to generate water right fees to fund field, technical, scientific, and administrative activities of the Water Resources Department that are directly related to water rights management.

HB 2707 HB 2707 would have granted general fund dollars to the Water Resources Department to support groundwater data collection and analysis. Not only is this necessary to better understand the capacity of our state’s groundwater resources, it also aims to help the state sustainably manage our groundwater resources in the future.

HB 3269 It is more important now than ever that we evaluate Oregon’s progress on meeting our greenhouse gas reduction goals. This bill would have funded the Global Warming Commission to evaluate Oregon’s progress and offer recommendations on how Oregon can meet our goals.

HB 3312 This forward-thinking bill sought to guarantee that no matter what happens at the federal level in the coming years, Oregon’s laws would be as stringent as the federal laws in existence today. This is a good precaution to ensure that our environmental laws remain strong if federal laws are weakened.


OCN Major ThreatSB 432 SB 432 aimed to open eastern Oregon up to residential sprawl across the countryside, which would cause conflicts with sage-grouse habitat, and would create challenges for wildfire mitigation routes.

OCN Major ThreatHB 3386 Oregon’s Clean Fuels Standard eliminated 775,000 tons of climate pollution in the first year of the program, which is equivalent to taking 164,000 cars off the road. HB 3386 would have gutted this critical climate program. The Clean Fuels Program was renewed in 2015 and continues to operate successfully.

HJM 11If HJM 11 had passed, the result would have been an official ask from Oregon to Congress and the Trump Administration to implement unsustainable logging on western Oregon public lands.

HB 2893 HB 2893 would have upended Oregon’s urban growth boundary law by allowing some types of productive farm land into UGBs and urban reserves, even when alternatives were available. This could have resulted in poorly planned growth into areas that are contributing to the local and state agricultural economy.

HB 2894 HB 2894 would have forced unnecessary urban growth boundary expansions by creating a subjective and complex system by which cities evaluate their current buildable land supply.

HB 3421 This legislation aimed to deem some illegal reservoirs legal without allowing the state to evaluate important public interest considerations such as whether water is available for use, fish passage requirements, impacts on scenic waterways, and other important factors.


About OLCV

The Oregon League of Conservation Voters is a non-partisan organization with a simple mission: to pass laws that protect Oregon's environmental legacy, elect pro-environment candidates to office, and hold all of our elected officials accountable.

For more information about OLCV, visit our website at olcv.org.

About the Scorecard

For more than 40 years, OLCV has protected Oregon's natural legacy. An essential part of our work is holding our elected officials accountable. The OLCV Environmental Scorecard is not only one of our most important accountability tools, but also a tradition. The first scorecard was published in 1973.

By sharing how each member of the Legislature voted on the most critical conservation bills, we help Oregonians understand whether legislators listened to their constituents, or if they listened to special interest groups instead. It also serves as a summary of environmental bills and includes special recognition of the legislative champions.