Last week, the Oregon Legislature held an informational hearing on two climate pollution pricing bills (a cap-and-dividend bill and a limit pollution bill) …now what? Also, how does Sightline’s work on carbon pricing relate to our work on democracy reform? Jefferson Smith of KXRY.fm’s “Thank You, Democracy” helps make the connections.
The discussion presented here between host Jefferson Smith and guests Kristin Eberhard of SI and Page Atcheson of Oregon Climate was disappointing. The lead in to the story refers to the informational meeting by the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee held on June 10. Then the question is posed: What now? My disappointment arises from hearing nothing substantive about “what now?”
The testimony given by proponents of the legislation at the June 10 meeting was persuasive and convincing. There was no new information but those who prepared the bills, HB 3470 and SB 965, had a large body of background information and could refer to successful implementation of related legislation in several other jurisdictions. I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that these bills are solid and they will deliver favorable economic results with significant GHG mitigation.
The opponents of these bills verbalized the same old baloney that I heard from opponents of the GMO labeling last fall. It will hurt the economy. Food processors will leave Oregon for neighboring states to avoid the higher cost of doing business. Blah, blah, blah.
So, if we have solid legislation and an important issue to resolve, if we have what some refer to as model legislation, if we boast to being a state that leads on resolving environmental issues, why are these bills stalled in Committees?
And, while I’m on the soap box, why is it that Sightline Institute and Oregon Climate, both with a relatively small readership, are the only ones reporting on this June 10 hearing? I read that the Portland Business Journal had something to say, but no statements that I could find in the Salem Statesman-Journal, the Oregonian, Oregon Public Radio, the Portland Tribune, or local environmental organizations. I have written my Senator and Representative about these bills but always get the same cope out reply: so-and-so will consider this legislation once it passes out of committee and advances to a vote in the full chamber.
I’d really like to see these bills enacted now. It’s an opportune time. It’s the end point of a successful drive in the past few months. Maybe Pope Francis’s Encyclical will inspire some action.
I completely agree with Don Merrick’s comment! It seems outrageous that with the hard works of Oregon Climate and Our Children’s Trust we seemed doomed to have to wait another two years,plus the 3 o4 4 years required for enactment.
Time is RUNNING OUT! Carbon pricing is supported by conservatives like Henry Paulson,by the World Bank, the European Union, 73 different companies including China: and Oregon, supposedly one of the most enlightened states in the country can’t even enact a bill here!
I wonder whether things would have been a lot different if all the environmental action groups/climate action groups had come into the session unified in their efforts & support; taken the good work done by the NERC study of the BC model(and paid for by us taxpayers!) and then run hard with it, would we be celebrating today?