HB 4027 Electric Companies Social Cost of CO2

VOTE:NO – Died In Committee
Status (overview) of bill:https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2020R1/Measures/Overview/HB4027
Committee assigned to bill:https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2020R1/Committees/HEE/Overview

This bill modifies general powers of PUC to require electric companies to account for external cost of greenhouse gas emissions without credible data, and requires electricity service suppliers to take actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions consistent with state goals.

Fiscal Responsibility
The added definition that requires the State Department of Energy to establish the external cost of greenhouse gas emissions by rule using social-cost of carbon emissions (SO-CO2) as determined by the US EPA is grasping at straws. The EPA states “the models used to develop SC-CO2 estimates, known as integrated assessment models, do not currently include all of the important physical, ecological, and economic impacts of climate change recognized in the climate change literature because of a lack of precise information on the nature of damages and because the science incorporated into these models naturally lags behind the most recent research.” If the US EPA says cost information is lacking, how can the State Department of Energy establish a reasonable external cost of greenhouse gas emissions by rule?

Limited Government
Adds to PUC authority a twist to serving the public interest that has nothing to do with fairness or protection in rate-making, for which PUC was established. The authority given to PUC is aimed at political goals in implementing policies and rules that encourage the enhancement of the environment, greenhouse gas emissions reductions, the fulfillment of the state’s energy and climate policies and the health of the state’s economy; and considers the external cost of greenhouse gas emissions in all controversies respecting rates, valuations, service and all matters of which the commission has jurisdiction.

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