SEVERE WX : Dense Fog Advisory View Alerts

Oregon House passes cap-and-trade bill, Republicans call it 'war on workers'

A bill aimed at curtailing greenhouse gas emissions passed along party lines as House Republicans voiced outspoken opposition.

Posted: Jun 18, 2019 11:29 AM
Updated: Jun 18, 2019 11:37 AM

SALEM, Ore. — A bill aimed at limiting greenhouse gas emissions in the state of Oregon through a "cap-and-trade" system passed the House of Representatives on Monday in a party line vote.

House Bill 2020 passed with 36 Democrats voting in favor and 24 Republicans against.

“The climate crisis is a constant threat to our way of life, a threat that would make the planet, as we know it, uninhabitable,” said Rep. Karin Power (D-Milwaukie), a chief architect of the legislation. “We have faced great challenges before and come out stronger for them. We can’t delay any longer. If we do, we will have to face future generations and explain to them our inaction, even with all we knew. Today, we can show that economy-wide programs to transition from fossil fuels toward a clean, renewable future are possible.”

House Republicans, meanwhile, characterized the bill as potentially disastrous for Oregon workers and their families. Despite acknowledging the validity of warnings from the climate science community, GOP lawmakers stressed that Oregon shouldn't have to foot the bill for efforts to curb greenhouse gasses.

“This is the most destructive piece of legislation to ever come through the House of Representatives,” said House Republican Leader Rep. Carl Wilson (R-Grants Pass). “Workers will tremendously suffer under Cap and Trade. Thousands of jobs will be lost. Wages will decline, gas prices will climb, and family budgets will be strained. Climate change is a global problem, not an Oregon problem. Oregon’s workers should not be punished for the reckless environmental policies of China and India.”


READ: Truckers and loggers protest cap-and-trade bill, saying it will hurt Oregon's industries.


In a separate statement, Rep. Shelly Boshart Davis (R-Albany) indicated that she supported the concept of the bill, but not the execution.

“This whole session, as part of the Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction, I have worked tirelessly on this bill to try to minimize the harmful impacts on working families while maximizing greenhouse gas reductions," Rept. Boshart said. "Unfortunately, all the effort has been for nothing.”

Under the bill, greenhouse gas emissions would be capped each year to achieve at least 45 percent below 1990 emission levels by 2035 and at least 80 percent below 1990 emission levels by 2050. In order to achieve those reductions, the state would reduce the greenhouse gas emissions cap each year, and auction allowances for companies to meet their compliance obligation.

Democrats said that polluters would be required to buy an allowance for each ton of greenhouse gases emitted, with the allowances going down over time. Businesses could choose to continue purchasing allowances, reduce their emissions through technological innovation, or both.

Revenue raised by the cap-and-trade program would then be invested in rural communities and green programs, according to supporters.

“For regions already experiencing climate change, these investments can’t come soon enough,” said Rep. Pam Marsh (D-Ashland). “In my part of the state, we need money for forest management projects that will sequester carbon as we prevent and suppress wildfires. As droughts become more frequent and temperatures continue to rise, we need to upgrade and protect our drinking water and irrigation systems. And we need support from the state to buttress and diversify an economy that is exceedingly vulnerable to the impacts of smoke and fire.”

House Bill 2020 now goes on to the Senate, where it faces a potentially greater challenge.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 132412

Reported Deaths: 1799
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah28237458
Washington18512171
Marion16085238
Clackamas11577138
Lane8219108
Jackson686284
Umatilla670968
Deschutes490736
Yamhill316245
Malheur312452
Linn310246
Klamath242238
Polk241340
Josephine170633
Jefferson168725
Benton168414
Douglas166643
Union110416
Wasco106323
Columbia103318
Lincoln98517
Hood River94821
Coos93315
Morrow92710
Clatsop6695
Crook60410
Baker5665
Tillamook3622
Curry3185
Lake2295
Grant2131
Harney1734
Wallowa963
Gilliam481
Sherman470
Wheeler201
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2955323

Reported Deaths: 33342
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles100392313741
San Bernardino2482851560
Riverside2352352517
San Diego2098972065
Orange2093652320
Santa Clara914661060
Kern83547558
Sacramento802791080
Fresno79950932
Alameda65679757
Ventura59061412
San Joaquin56484748
Contra Costa50627430
Stanislaus41925739
Tulare40176501
Monterey34959249
San Mateo31291294
San Francisco28574254
Imperial24944463
Solano24654105
Santa Barbara23538228
Merced23492296
Sonoma23204234
Kings18661110
Placer16761173
San Luis Obispo15129128
Madera12883130
Santa Cruz11776113
Marin11345153
Yolo10240131
Shasta9594117
Butte9233121
El Dorado751544
Sutter748477
Napa723139
Lassen509413
San Benito485043
Yuba481827
Tehama397142
Tuolumne330438
Nevada309973
Mendocino307631
Amador295329
Lake243428
Humboldt226324
Glenn182419
Colusa16919
Calaveras153823
Siskiyou140813
Mono10834
Inyo92429
Del Norte8472
Plumas5735
Modoc3783
Mariposa3434
Trinity3024
Alpine730
Sierra700
Unassigned00
Medford
Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 40°
Brookings
Partly Cloudy
60° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 60°
Medford
Partly Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 40°
Medford
Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 40°
Klamath Falls
Clear
28° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 28°
Clearing tonight, brighter tomorrow
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events

Latest Video

Image

Oregon State falls to No. 11 Arizona on the road, 67-51

Image

Weinermobile Story

Image

Car thief returns to scold mother

Image

MLK Day Virtual Event

Image

Jackson County reports 30 new cases

Image

Sunday, January 17th Evening Weather

Image

A block 12/24 part two

Image

Medford School District Plans for the Future of the COVID-19 Vaccine

Image

Astronomers discover "Super Earth"

Image

Super Planet discovered in Milkway Galaxy