Regarding the Legislative Policy Agenda and Priorities. The Legislative Review Committee (LRC) recently decided to remove oil and gas issues from the priorities document, but did not make policy changes in terms of the City’s stances on those issues. The policy agenda, which directly informs the City’s positions on introduced legislation, has the following recommended statements on oil and gas:
- Supports greater local authority to regulate oil and gas exploration activities within municipal boundaries, including ability to inspect sites, ensure operator compliance, and regulate location of extraction, storage and transmission activities.
- Supports state, federal, and academic studies evaluating impacts of oil and gas operations on human health and property values.
- Supports air pollution monitoring, emission characterization and modeling studies to better understand the contributions of the oil and gas industry to air pollution.
- Supports the current formula allocation of severance tax to impacted jurisdictions so that they might address impacts from resource extraction.
- Supports industry information sharing and collaboration with local governments on the planned development of resources within communities’ Growth Management Areas.
With the exception of some minor formatting, these statements are the same positions the City has held for several years. If Council approves the policy agenda in this form, the City will still be able to react and lobby on behalf of bills that are related to oil and gas issues. The priorities document is intended to focus on those items which the City sees as the most pressing from a legislative standpoint. In past years, oil and gas was front and center at a local and state level. In order to maintain a consistent number of priorities, this year, the LRC chose to replace that priority with one related to mental and behavioral health issues.
City Council approves the policy agenda and priorities document and it is scheduled for consideration at the November 21st regular meeting.