State representatives passed a controversial ‘Cap and Trade’ bill in Salem last night.
House bill 2020 would require companies in the utility, transportation and industrial sectors to buy emission allowances to cover each metric ton of pollution that their operations emit. The Oregon House debated the bill for six hours, as members of the trucking and logging industries sat in the gallery.
They have been the most vocal critics of the ‘cap and trade’ plan, saying it will cost thousands of jobs in their industries and pass the costs of the carbon fees onto consumers. One of the opponents of the bill, Bend’s Cheri Helt, said she believes in man-made climate change but disagrees with the steps being taken to curb emissions in this bill.
The House passed the bill by a vote of 36 to 24 and it now goes to the Senate for consideration.
If it is passed and becomes law, Oregon would become the second state in the nation, after California, to pass ‘cap and trade’ legislation.