Executive order expands Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program

By Erin Voegele | March 12, 2020

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed an executive order March 10 that sets a new goal for greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction and outlines several steps the state will take to combat climate change, including expanding Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program.

The executive order updates the existing state carbon emission goal to reflect current science, setting a standard of 45 percent reduction from 1990 levels by 2035 and an 80 percent reduction from 1990 levels by 2050. The order also outlines a variety of means to achieve the new goals, including sector-specific caps on climate pollution, doubling of the Clean Fuels Program, increased efficiency requirements for buildings and appliances, a plan to accelerate the usability of electric vehicles, a plan for emissions-conscious transportation spending, an acceleration of clean energy use in the utility sector, and a plan to add climate change as a top priority for agency decision making.

Regarding Oregon’s Clean Fuels Standard, state agencies are directed to take actions necessary to amend the low carbon fuel standards and the schedule to phase in implementation of those standards. The new goal is to reduce the average amount of GHG emissions per unit of fuel energy by 20 percent below 2015 levels by 2030 and 25 percent below 2015 levels by 2035. The state’s current Clean Fuels Program required a 0.25 percent reduction in 2016 that phases up to a 10 percent reduction in 2025.

“This is the most ambitious Clean Fuels goal in the country,” Brown said. “It will substantially reduce carbon emissions in the transportation sector using a model proven to reduce pollution ate a very minimal cost. At the same time, it will fuel new jobs in the biofuels sector and expand investment in transportation electrification.”

The executive order also includes language directing state agencies to take necessary actions to reduce methane gas emissions from landfills that are aligned with the most stringent standards and requirements for reducing methane gas emissions from landfills adopted among states having a boundary with Oregon.

A full copy of the executive order can be downloaded from the Oregon.gov website.

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