The Latest: Oregon House approves progressive climate policy
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Latest on Oregon’s cap and trade proposal (all times local):
The Oregon House has approved an economywide cap-and trade-program.
The program would put an overall limit on greenhouse gas emissions and auction off pollution “allowances” for each ton of carbon industries plan to emit. Only the state’s largest polluters would be targeted.
Lawmakers voted 36-24 late Monday night after nearly six hours of debate, sending it to the Senate.
The Statehouse’s minority Republicans blasted the plan, saying it would raise gas prices and cause businesses to move. They also say it would hurt rural economies that depend on the industries targeted under the legislation.
Rep. Karin Power is one of the Democrats behind the bill. She says the state is behind on its emission reduction goals and must take dramatic action to respond to climate change.
Gov. Kate Brown has said she would sign the bill.
Oregon is on the precipice of becoming the second state after California to adopt a cap-and-trade program, a market-based approach to lowering the greenhouse gas emissions behind global warming.
Supporters call it the United States’ most progressive climate policy. They say it not only cuts emissions but invests in transitioning the state economy and infrastructure to better prepare for more intense weather events as climate change worsens.
Under a cap-and-trade program, the state puts an overall limit on emissions and auctions off pollution permits or “allowances” for each ton of carbon industries plan to emit. Only the largest polluters are targeted.
The state aims to reduce emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.
Detractors say that Oregon’s program offers concessions to nearly every industry to dampen the potential financial impact.