Oregon’s Climate Program Overruled

The Oregon Court of Appeals struck down the state’s ambitious Climate Protection Program. This decision, hailed by utilities and industry groups, is a stark reminder of the overreach often seen in state-level environmental regulations. The court found that the Environmental Quality Commission, the policy and rule-making board for Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality, failed to meet heightened disclosure requirements, a fundamental aspect of lawful and transparent governance.

The Climate Protection Program, approved in December 2021, mandated significant cuts in emissions from various sectors, including natural gas utilities and large industrial plants. However, the program’s ambitious goals overlooked the practical implications and feasibility of such drastic measures. The court’s decision to invalidate the program underscores the necessity of realistic environmental policies, and following the law rather than blatantly ramming through illegal, idealistic, and unattainable targets.

Oregon’s three gas utilities, an oil-industry group, and several local trade organizations challenged the program’s rules last year. Their victory in court is not just a win for these industries but also a win for common sense. It highlights the importance of balanced, legal, and fair rule-making processes that consider the economic and practical aspects of environmental regulations.

The court’s decision focused on a clear disclosure requirements of the statute – the failure of the Environmental Quality Commission to meet disclosure requirements. This focus on procedural integrity is crucial. It ensures that any significant regulatory changes, especially those impacting major industries and the economy, are made transparently and with due diligence. The court rightly prioritized the rule of law over the substance of the program itself, much to the chagrin of the end justifies the means activists.

The state acknowledged that the notice it submitted did not include an explicit statement about additional federal requirements. The state said it “substantially complied” with state rules by posting the notice of proposed rulemaking on its website, sending it to over 20,000 recipients and conducting 18 months of public outreach.

They argued industries had ample time to understand that the program would impose additional requirements, why the rules were needed and what alternatives it had considered.

But the court ruled that is not enough.

“Substantial compliance … is not sufficient. The statute requires actual compliance,” the court wrote.


Very understated of the court: The statute requires actual compliance.”

The court rightly noted that “substantial compliance” is not sufficient. Actual compliance with statutory requirements is non-negotiable, especially when it comes to regulations that have far-reaching implications for industries and consumers alike.

The challengers of the program praised the court’s decision, viewing it as a constructive step towards addressing climate change in a more balanced and effective manner. On the other hand, environmental advocates expressed disappointment, seeing the decision as a setback.

The Oregon Court of Appeals’ decision to strike down the Climate Protection Program highlights the importance of procedural integrity and balanced rule-making that considers the economic realities and practical limitations of ambitious environmental goals, and following the law. This ruling should serve as a precedent for other states, encouraging them slow down the insane ideological rush to ignore laws, procedural, rules, and regulations.

The court’s decision underscores the importance of legal and procedural rigor in the formulation of such policies and serves as a cautionary tale against overzealous regulatory ambitions that fail to account for practical realities.

H/T James P (a link would have been nice)

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Curious George
December 21, 2023 4:21 pm

Climate surely needs a lot of protection. Especially from firearm owners. They would shoot it to pieces.

Bryan A
Reply to  Curious George
December 21, 2023 5:53 pm

Do people with guns shoot holes in Climatista arguments?
You Betcha…ready…aim……

Tom Halla
December 21, 2023 4:22 pm

What? WE have to follow the law?

Reply to  Tom Halla
December 21, 2023 7:08 pm

The Federal EPA might have such a requirement in the statutes but it has always skated by on the support of powerful senators and executive officials.

Reply to  AndyHce
December 22, 2023 5:59 pm

And gutless judges.

December 21, 2023 4:53 pm

Have they repaired the Federal buildings and others damaged in Portland riots with no charges filed? There is very little or no cost in overreach–just ask Maduro in VNZ and Putin in Europe.

Ron Long
December 21, 2023 5:17 pm

Oregon is hell bent on winning the race to the bottom. I was born and raised in Oregon, and the thing that startled me most was when the LGBTQQ+XXXTU group Queer Nation moved their headquarters from San Francisco to Eugene, Oregon. Shame they can’t move the whole state to the East Coast, maybe between New York and Massachusetts. Ok, leave the eastern part of Oregon where it is. I need (another) drink.

Bryan A
Reply to  Ron Long
December 21, 2023 5:56 pm

I would recommend between Manhattan and New Jersey

Reply to  Bryan A
December 21, 2023 8:12 pm

Good one.

Here’s some irony for you. Maine’s vote whether to ban ICE vehicles was postponed today due to widespread power failures.


Tom Abbott
Reply to  Scissor
December 23, 2023 3:42 am

I saw that. One Democrat elected official said it was time to rethink what they were doing with electric cars.

They come to their senses one at a time.

Reply to  Bryan A
December 22, 2023 9:20 am

Perhaps somewhere east of Maine.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  MarkW
December 23, 2023 3:44 am

Let me get my map out here. 🙂

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Ron Long
December 22, 2023 3:32 am

Heck, MA is already totally dominated by the LGBT, feminist and climate lunacy crowd.

Reply to  Ron Long
December 22, 2023 12:06 pm

I drive a lot. Eastern, Central, Southern, Willamette valley.

I’ve probably stopped in Canyonville 80 times in the last 5 years. During the covid, it was one of the towns (except for the Casino) that seemed O.K. with just ignoring the mask crap if you had a mind to.

(several eastern small towns were the same way).

The Willamette Valley north of Drain is nuts (Cottage Grove included based on who they elected as County Commissioner). Bend & Ashland have their own issues, but controlling everyone else doesn’t seem to be a priority for them.

Reply to  DonM
December 23, 2023 3:22 am

I’ve probably stopped in Canyonville 80 times in the last 5 years.

Buying that cheap native American gas, I bet… :>}

Reply to  juanslayton
December 23, 2023 2:44 pm

I did in the past. Now I go to the old local station on the main street. The store next door has reasonal coffee … The casino ‘convenience’ store is pricing high for the highway traffic.

Non casino gas cost is about the same, and it appears that the casino gas price does have an occasional time of day jump increase that is pretty weasely.

J Boles
December 21, 2023 5:18 pm

OMG that photo of the ignorant naive children, everything they touch every day is from FF, including their signs. Maybe they are a rent a mob?

Richard Page
Reply to  J Boles
December 21, 2023 5:46 pm

Well lessee now. Blank faces, only one or two smiling at the camera, aimless looking around. Too young for a rent-a-mob I think, I’m guessing the schoolteacher is holding the camera and they got a couple of classes out for a ‘protest day’.

George Daddis
Reply to  Richard Page
December 22, 2023 6:48 am

I don’t think that sign was created as a classroom art project.

Bryan A
Reply to  J Boles
December 21, 2023 5:58 pm

Drones with Tail Hooks to fly over from behind and grab their signs

Reply to  Bryan A
December 21, 2023 6:52 pm

Leftists on the Front Range of Colorado decided to reintroduce wolves in the northwest part of the state, despite the people living there, many ranchers, being against it.

I heard one rancher suggest they start breeding and training packs of mean Pitbulls and Dobermans for release into Denver.

Reply to  Scissor
December 21, 2023 7:08 pm

The neighbor at our farm hunts coyotes with greyhounds.

He only releases when he has at least 2:1 odds in favor of the dogs.

I wonder how big of a pack you would need to take on wolves? I suspect the wolves would just outrun any dogs big enough to battle them.

Ranchers might use the SSS method of dealing with unwanted varmints.

Reply to  pillageidiot
December 21, 2023 8:00 pm

Our dem governor is more like a slow pig though.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Scissor
December 23, 2023 3:47 am


Reply to  Scissor
December 22, 2023 2:17 am

Irish Wolfhounds might do the trick, Scissor.

Steve Keohane
Reply to  Scissor
December 22, 2023 7:32 am

Interesting the DOW is concerned about the low elk reproduction. Shirley a few more wolves with help that. Oh, and there are already wolves here, I’ve seen them and so have many ranchers.

Reply to  J Boles
December 21, 2023 7:10 pm

Useful idiots are generally willing to pay their own way — if they must.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  J Boles
December 22, 2023 3:35 am

One of the signs says ff are not natural? They come right out of the Earth. Nothing coming out of the Earth is not natural.

George Daddis
Reply to  J Boles
December 22, 2023 6:47 am

What is “un-natural” about cow farts, natural gas or coal deposits?
That sign is the epitome of naivety.

Bryan A
December 21, 2023 5:50 pm

A rule demanding that anyone proposing other people…
… live a certain way must already live that way themselves.
… need to adopt a certain diet (bugs) already exclusively eat that way.
… Live without specific energy sources must already be living without those energy sources themselves
Including not just those energy sources but anything derived from them (6000+ products from petrochemicals)

Sorry XR but you can’t protest against FF use so long as you still benefit from it
Sorry Just Stop Oil but you can’t protest against Oil Usage as long as you still benefit from it

Bryan A
Reply to  Bryan A
December 21, 2023 5:51 pm

Same for Cities filing Law Suits.
Can’t be done as long as that city is benefiting from or using the products of the companies they’re suing

Rod Evans
Reply to  Bryan A
December 22, 2023 12:19 am

The simplest answer to those councils and state bodies that are demanding the end of FF, is for the FF suppliers to simple stop supplying them.
The easiest way to do that is to give each user a contract of supply that simply says.
“I (the consumer) wish to use fossil fuels and agree to support the provision of fossil fuels,”
Singed, The user.
Anyone not wishing to sign/support fossil fuel and its provision will be removed from the supply system, in line with their wishes.
Once that declaration of supply has been signed gas is available, oil for the heating tank is available the right to fill your car is available at the gas station etc.
A handy credit card would be carried that shows the user is a supporter of fossil fuel and thus entitled/allowed to buy. Anyone not prepared to support fossil fuels won’t have the card and thus won’t be allowed to buy it or use it. That would be the case, until they freely sign to say they support its use.
It is time to hit the hypocrites, or anarchists to use their correct title where it hurts. Just make them stop using oil, if that is actually what they want.

John Aqua
December 21, 2023 5:53 pm

Another step in the right direction and turning the tide against the climate crazies. Oregon has gone full mental on account of all the commie libs from California and Washington. I see a glimmer of hope with this and other news stories related to offshore wind power sinking, battery factories being shuttered and EV business pulling the plug. I too shall have another drink. Cheers.

Reply to  John Aqua
December 21, 2023 7:05 pm

Never go “full mental” 🙂

Rud Istvan
December 21, 2023 6:09 pm

A win, but narrow.
Relying on statutory procedural compliance is a slim reed, as Statutory Compliance can be changed by Statute. Especially in leftist states like Oregon.

Beta Blocker
Reply to  Rud Istvan
December 22, 2023 7:09 am

A revision of the statute to deal with the issues raised in the court’s decision is the likely response Oregon’s climate activist legislators will be pursuing. Either that, or they will take a cue from Joe Biden and simply announce that ways will be found to bypass the court’s adverse decision; and if that approach doesn’t work, to simply ignore the decision altogether.

December 21, 2023 6:43 pm

More good news but I think it is high time these environmental boards be made to prove that what they are asking for is necessary and will actually lower global CO2 concentrations. I am convinced they couldn’t prove either.

December 21, 2023 8:25 pm

Fifteen kids holding a banner for a photo. Caption reads “Thousands of…”. 2000/15=133 rows as wide as the front. I doubt it.

Reply to  KevinM
December 21, 2023 8:26 pm

That sign in back says nothing natural about methane? huh?

Richard Page
Reply to  KevinM
December 21, 2023 9:28 pm

Behold their feelz and ignore the illogical, nonsensical and downright insane nature of their signs.

Btw did you see the Thunberg wannabe over on the right, scowling at the rest and holding up a tiny sign reading ‘organise’? 1 activist outnumbered by dozens (hundreds) just on a day out from school.

Reply to  KevinM
December 21, 2023 9:36 pm

John Kerry, the USA’s Special Envoy for Climate begs to differ on that point:

Tom Abbott
Reply to  philincalifornia
December 23, 2023 3:52 am

We have this guy for a representative! How did this happen?

The man is a mental case. As are all of his peers.

December 21, 2023 8:30 pm

huh. nuts.

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