August 2019 Newsletter
Oregon Celebrates Electric Vehicle Milestone
This month, we celebrated reaching the halfway mark to Oregon's goal of at least 50,000 registered electric vehicles on our roads by the end of 2020.
As of August 1, Oregon had 26,218 registered EVs, from plug-in hybrids to all-electric models. Among the most popular models in Oregon? The Nissan LEAF, Tesla Model 3, and Chevrolet Volt. Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas counties represent about three-quarters of Oregon's EV drivers, but less-populated counties are also plugging in. Counties with fewer than 100,000 residents represent more than 3,000 registered EVs.
It's a great time to join the electric vehicle revolution. Current financial incentives and rebates can be stacked, and Oregonians can save $10,000 or more on a new EV. We are keeping a list of current available incentives on the Go Electric Oregon website. Do you know about a new EV-related incentive? Please drop us a line to let us know!
We look forward to celebrating when Oregon reaches 50,000. In the meantime, our work continues. As we mentioned last month, the Oregon Department of Energy is looking forward to implementing Senate Bill 1044, which establishes additional targets for zero emission vehicles – including 250,000 EVs registered by 2025 and representing at least 90 percent of new vehicle sales by 2035. The law also requires that all light-duty vehicles owned or leased by the State of Oregon be zero emission vehicles by 2029, and it gives Oregon’s schools the option to use public purpose charge funds to buy electric buses and charging stations. Stay tuned for more information in the coming months.
National Drive Electric Week
As we celebrate 25,000 registered EVs on Oregon roads, we also remain focused on reaching the 50,000 goal by the end of next year. With that in mind, we are charged up for National Drive Electric Week, which is September 14-22, 2019. We have some fun things in mind for the week, including an EV Showcase at the September 21 Salem Saturday Market. Tune in to goelectric.oregon.gov for more EV announcements, and let us know if you have something planned for the week. We'd love to help spread the word!
Energy Facility Siting Council Adopts Temporary Rules
On August 22, the Energy Facility Siting Council adopted temporary administrative rules that govern the state’s energy facility site certificate amendment process. Facilities that fall under EFSC jurisdiction can submit amendment requests to change certain aspects of an approved, under construction, or operational facility, such as facility size, equipment type, or other changes. In 2017, the Council updated its administrative rules for amendments to streamline the process and offer additional opportunities for public involvement.
On August 1, 2019, the Oregon Supreme Court invalidated the Council’s adopted amendment rules. The Court found that the Council did not include a written statement on how it would determine if the rules were accomplishing their objective, and that Council exceeded its authority by adopting rules that limited the scope of judicial review of an amendment under the "Type B" review process. To address the issues identified by the Supreme Court, Council adopted temporary rules for the amendment process, which went into effect immediately. The temporary rules will allow Council to continue processing facilities that currently have amendment requests in process, as well as any new amendment requests, in a timely and transparent manner.
Council also approved initiating a permanent rulemaking process to adopt new, permanent rules for the facility amendment process that will replace the temporary rules. Council will begin a thorough public process for those permanent rules.
Preparing for Cascadia
In the event of a major disaster like a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake, we'll need to get creative for delivering services to affected coastal communities. One option? Delivering fuel by sea. This month, an Oregon contingent went to Barrow, Alaska, to learn about the Crowley Maritime Corporation’s fueling operation there. Learn more on our blog.
Oregon Solar + Storage Rebate Program
ODOE staff are working hard to implement HB 2618, which created a new solar and energy storage rebate program for our agency. The team will soon launch a rulemaking process to develop administrative rules for the program, and expects to hold a public hearing on the rules this fall. Follow the process on our website, or sign up to receive email notices about how to get involved. The new rebate program will be up and running in early 2020.
Coming Soon: Strategic Planning
This fall, the Oregon Department of Energy will kick off a strategic planning effort to make sure we're focusing on the energy programs and issues that are most important to Oregonians. The process will help us prioritize our work, measure progress, and strengthen alignment between agency goals, programs, and budget. Stay tuned in the coming months for more information about how to get involved.
Reports From Around the Agency
In September, ODOE Director Janine Benner and Robin Freeman, our Associate Director for Government Relations, will travel to Washington, DC to meet with Oregon’s Congressional delegation and others about the work ODOE is doing for the state.
Save the date! The Zero Emission Vehicle Interagency Working Group will hold a public meeting in Portland on September 27 to provide an update on the state's ZEV goals, hear feedback from stakeholders, and share what's on the horizon.
Ken Niles, our Assistant Director for Nuclear Safety and Emergency Preparedness, was a guest earlier this month on Accent RTV, a Russian-speaking online news station out of Portland/Vancouver. Ken talked about the Hanford Nuclear Site cleanup, and its effect on Oregon communities. Tune in here.
Members of our Nuclear Safety and Emergency Preparedness team ventured east earlier this month to the Umatilla County Fair, where they also had the opportunity to connect with Oregonians about the Hanford Nuclear Site cleanup.
The Department of Land Conservation and Development posted the public comment period for the federal consistency review of the proposed Jordan Cove Liquefied Natural Gas Project in Coos Bay. Comments will be accepted until midnight September 21, 2019. Follow the State of Oregon's process on our Jordan Cove dashboard.