Testimony of Eric Fruits Before the House Committee on Climate, Energy, and Environment in Support of HB 3002

Eric Fruits, Ph.D.
Vice President of Research
Cascade Policy Institute

Support for HB 3002 re: Rules or standards related to motor vehicle fuels or emissions

Chair Marsh, Vice-Chairs Levy and Levy, and committee members:

My name is Eric Fruits. I am the research director at Cascade Policy Institute.

Thank you for the opportunity to testify in support of House Bill 3002.

This bill is about much more than the Environmental Quality Commission’s decision to ban the sale of internal combustion cars by 2035.

This bill is about whether Oregon should continue to outsource major policymaking to unelected
California bureaucrats.

In 2006, the EQC approved permanent rules to adopt California’s emissions standards. Under this policy, whatever California does with its standards, Oregon must follow.

That’s why after the California Air Resources Board approved its ban last summer, the EQC followed suit in December with its near-copycat rules.

The EQC and the California Air Resources Board are not elected, but appointed by the governor.
These unelected bureaucrats imposed a massive policy change without any input from elected

Even worse, Oregon’s rules were written by California’s unelected bureaucrats.

As legislators, you should be outraged at this. You are the legislative body of this state, and you should play a critical—if not the critical— role in setting state policy.

As voters, we should be outraged at this. We don’t elect the EQC, and we have zero say in California’s bureaucracy.

In fact, our testimony means nothing. For example, for the December EQC meeting to vote on the ban, the DEQ responded to more than 500 comments. Every single criticism of the proposal was dismissed by DEQ because federal law says that if a state wants to adopt California standards—instead of EPA standards—they must be adopted without any changes. This turned the public comment process into mere theater, if not a sham.

But there’s hope. HB 3022 requires that the legislature must approve any rules related to motor vehicle fuels or emissions. It’s time to bring policymaking back to the Oregon legislature, and HB 3022 is a good first step.

Thank you.

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