Among the top priorities for the Democrats, who hold super-majorities in both houses of the Legislature and the governorship, is a landmark 2019 environmental bill to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
For more than a decade, environmental groups have pushed one version after another such legislation and this is year they hope finally to succeed.
The current version of the legislation has yet to be released, but various aspects of what's called the Oregon Clean Energy Jobs bill have been debated for the last two years.
As previously conceived, the bill would require large polluters in the state to purchase permits for their greenhouse gas emissions. The availability of permits would decline over time, leading to a reduction in emissions.
In turn, the money raised from the purchase of permits—would be spent on projects to promote clean energy.
Oregon's environmental community invested heavily in the 2018 election, helping Gov. Kate Brown and legislative Democrats triumph. But not everybody on the left side of the aisle is excited about the Clean Energy Jobs bill.
On Jan. 13, the Portland chapter of Democratic Socialists of America took an early stand on it, formally opposing it and demanding "the Oregon Legislature act on a Green New Deal platform for Oregon's workers and communities."
The DSA expressed a series of concerns, but among those are "too many loopholes," that presenting "the weak legislation as 'bold' could prevent stronger climate action in the future" and that the bill doesn't prevent investment in potentially polluting energy infrastructure, including nuclear power.
The DSA also suggests the bill will "raise only a fraction of the $700 million dollar per year figure that bill proponents have touted" and "fails to address or impede new fossil fuel infrastructure, including the Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas export project."
In general, the group calls for a broader vision.
"Oregon needs a truly comprehensive and visionary climate and energy program like a Green New Deal imbued with strong just transition policies and practices," the group says.