Green Energy Institute Updates

The Green Energy Institute (GEI) develops smart and comprehensive legal and policy strategies to address climate change and support a swift and equitable transition to a sustainable, carbon-free energy grid.

Analysis of Oregon’s Constitutional Restrictions on Transportation Funding

With the transportation sector rapidly shifting to electric vehicles, pressure is increasing to reduce reliance on gas tax revenues as the primary source of highway funding. Unfortunately, Oregon’s constitution constrains the state’s authority to raise and spend transportation revenues. GEI Staff Attorney Amy Schlusser ’13 produced a comprehensive analysis of Article IX, Section 3a of the Oregon Constitution and the restrictions it places on raising and using highway funds. Amy is also providing legal and policy support to a coalition of advocacy organizations working to advance equitable transportation solutions in Oregon.


Developing a Climate Policy Roadmap for Oregon

While significant progress has been made, Oregon is not on track to achieve its climate targets. GEI has developed an economy-wide climate policy roadmap for Oregon that identifies a suite of laws and policies that will enable the state to achieve its climate goals in an equitable and economical manner. GEI is also conducting an accompanying legal analysis of available policy mechanisms and identifying strategies to overcome legal constraints on state or local authority.


Engaging with the Oregon Public Utility

Commission on Decarbonization Efforts GEI is engaged in several dockets at the Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC) that are critical to driving equitable decarbonization efforts in the state. GEI is participating in implementation efforts of House Bill 2021 (100% Clean Energy for All), a law that requires Oregon’s investor-owned electric utilities to provide emissions-free electricity by 2040. The Institute is also advocating for equitable and ambitious transportation- electrification policies.


Representing Intervenors in NW Natural Rate Increase

GEI is partnering with Earthjustice attorneys to represent a coalition of environmental and community-based organizations who have intervened to challenge NW Natural’s proposed general rate revision, the expansion of the gas system, and promotional advertising billed to ratepayers. Staff Attorney Carra Sahler ’02 is overseeing the efforts, and the case is anticipated to proceed through the summer and into the fall, with a Commission order expected in late October.

More Clinic Updates

Global Law Alliance for Animals and the Environment Update

The Global Law Alliance for Animals and the Environment (GLA) provides a clinical experience for JD students interested in environmental and/or animal law and a specialized clinic for the Center for Animal Law Studies international LLM students interested in wildlife issues. Students worked on these issues and more:

Small Business Legal Clinic Update

The Small Business Legal Clinic (SBLC) served 415 clients, with 60 percent BIPOC-owned businesses and 57 percent women-owned businesses this past year. This was a new record and the first time the clinic served more than 400 clients in a year!

Low Income Taxpayer Clinic Updates

The Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) provides free need-based legal representation in federal tax matters, specializing in client controversies with the IRS.

Criminal Justice Reform Clinic (CJRC) Updates

The clinic and its students work on issues including clemency, parole, access to courts for incarcerated youth, and forensic science in criminal cases.

Earthrise Updates

Earthrise is an environmental and natural resources litigation clinic serving nonprofit conservation organizations