SB 1530A, HB 4167, HB 4159 “cap-and-trade”

03/02/2020
SB 1530 VOTE: NO
Floor Vote
Floor Vote 03/03/2020 11:00am
Status (overview) of bill: https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2020R1/Measures/Overview/SB1530
Committee assigned to bill:

SB 1530A Scheduled for a Senate second and third reading March 4th

28 Counties have opposed The Cap and Trade tax legislation.

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HB 4167 – Returned to Full committee

HB 4159 Passed out of committee and referred to Rules then Ways and Means.


This bill requires large polluters to purchase permits for their greenhouse gas emissions with availability of permits declining over time, leading to a reduction in emissions. The money raised from permits would be spent on projects to promote clean energy. Increases statewide greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals. Establishes Oregon Climate Action Program to replace the Global Warming Commission and adds requirements and offset projects increasing control of the free market at the expense of the economy.

Personal Choice and Responsibility
Redistribution of our money allowing PUC to reflect different rates that enables public utilities to assist low-income customers. For all that pain it would only mean reducing global CO2 emissions by less than a quarter of one percent, meaning we will still suffer all the harms of climate change anyway, and we will simply have impoverished ourselves in the attempt. Overrides consumer protection that PUC was designed to provide.

Fiscal Responsibility
Funds appropriated from General Funds to operate the program will cost taxpayers $700 million and will increase gas prices 72 cents and utility prices by 13% to go towards a new undefined enviro-slush fund. Revenues generated by the sale of transportation allowances is restricted geographically. Eighty percent would go to those metropolitan areas and counties participating in the program, with the bulk likely headed to the Portland metro area. The remaining 20% would go to the Oregon Department of Transportation for use throughout the state. Allows rates to reflect amounts for investments in infrastructure that supports alternative forms of transportation vehicles. This after the 2019 session allowed passing investment cost through to rate payers. The Oregon Climate Action Program aims for a net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 without consideration for sequestration and mitigation. Auctions held annually on carbon credits established in 2022, and allows contracting with other jurisdictions with similar programs and any third-party organization to provide administrative or technical support.

Limited Government
This bill will now be managed by the Department of Environmental Quality in a new Office of Greenhouse Gas Regulation instead of creating a new agency. Amends greenhouse gas reporting statute. Requires Environmental Quality Commission to adopt by rule standards and requirements for reducing methane gas emissions from landfills. Abolishes Oregon Global Warming Commission and transfers duties to Oregon Climate Board. Increases government by establishing a Joint Committee on Climate Action; establishes Oregon Climate Board; establishes within Oregon Department of Administrative Services, Climate Policy Office and Director of Climate Policy Office to advise on development of Oregon Climate Action Plan, on implementation of plan and on investments of state proceeds from program.

Local Control
The Environmental Quality Commission shall identify impacted communities based on a methodology that takes into consideration geographic, socioeconomic, historic disadvantage, public health and environmental hazard criteria. The requirement for transportation fuel providers to buy emissions allowances would be phased in geographically. It would be effective in metropolitan Portland in 2022 and metro areas with populations greater than 30,000 in 2025. Some moneys will go to rural projects in an attempt to get some bi-partisan votes to boost the sale of the bill. However, the Association of Oregon Counties report that increases of up to 25% for steel and iron could prevent counties from replacing bridges where over 95% are rated as structurally deficient. Rural fuel breaks obligates importers to buy emissions allowances, which will passed along the cost to distributors, who would in turn charge retailers all over the state. There is no exemption for rural counties.

Free Markets
This is anti-free market and displays the highest level of control over manufacturing and distribution of goods. This version reduces the number of companies directly regulated from 30 to approximately 11. It exempts the food processing and pulp and paper industries. Oregon’s sector-based emissions are 10% above 1990 levels of 56 million metric tons. Changes the goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to at least 45% below 1990 emissions levels by 2035 and to at least 80% below 1990 emissions levels by 2050, which is a zero impact on climate change. The amount of carbon Oregon would be allowed to emit in 2050 is 11.2 million metric tons.

AMENDMENTS

Amendments didn’t change the devastation it will bring on this state. Some details were added including giving the Governor authority to consider greenhouse gas emission funds in the budget process, so none of these dedicated fund are guaranteed as additional fund, but can be used as replacement funds.

Another notable addition is a study to determine whether the exclusions in eastern Oregon furthers the purpose of the program. So, they already have plans to delete the exclusion.

Section 74, Regulation of Landfill Methane Emissions, adds a definition for ‘Carbon dioxide equivalent’ to mean the amount of carbon dioxide by weight that would produce the same global warming impact as a given weight of another greenhouse gas, based on considerations including but not limited to the best available science, including information from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It adds to the pretense that this Act will have any affect on climate change, which we know it won’t.

Civil penalties are defined and limited to $25,000 per offense.

Appropriates $10 million for deposit in the Traded Sector Greenhouse Gas Reduction Revolving Loan Fund, which was renamed and directed to loans of the Oregon Business Development Department.

Comments

  1. 
    PLEASE OPPOSE SB 1530

    PLEASE LET US VOTE ON THIS LEGISLATION!!

    Please do not push this through the legislative short session.

    Oregonians deserve to vote on something that will effect ALL of us!

    SB 1530 – Cap and Trade Bill is BAD for Oregon!!

    Just to start- will increase more over time:

    $700 million new tax.
    .72-cent increase on gas
    13% increase on utilities

    Oregon’s natural resource industries are committed to and rely on stewardship and sustainability; we are part of the solution. Oregon is already a leader in building one of the cleanest economies in the country. Oregon’s forests sequester approximately 11 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalents, and annually withdraw 23 million to 63 million additional tons from the atmosphere, according to the Global Warming Commission’s figures. This is equivalent to all the annual emissions from the transportation, utility and industrial sectors. Support our farms and forest businesses and you wont need to levy taxes against the very businesses who capture and sequester carbon.

    Cap and Trade schemes are attractive to governments because they generates revenue through bureaucratically set goals, taxes and penalties with little accountability by the lawmakers who proposed, and voted in the laws.

    Elected officials come and go, but their rules, regulations, laws, fees, and taxes stay.

    If SB 1530 is passed, Oregon will make money regardless of Green House Gas emissions compliance. In essence, companies would be free to pollute as long as they pay the state’s ransom.

    SB 1530 will not decrease global greenhouse gas emissions, but it will reduce the viability of Oregon’s homegrown businesses, and Oregon’s natural resource industries and levy downstream financial impacts, specifically on rural Oregonians.

    SB 1530 makes Oregon trucking, logging, transportation, lumber, farming, and commercial fishing, less competitive. With 80% of commodities leaving the state, it is critical that Oregon maintain a competitive edge in the global marketplace. These businesses have a limited ability to recoup added production costs. Cap-and-trade will reduce our competitiveness by levying a new layer of costs onto Oregon businesses that our counterparts in other states and parts of the world don’t have.

    SB 1530 requires lengthy and costly paperwork to be filed which would cost more time and expense to businesses. When the cost to maintain and manage our farms and forests go up, some businesses must close or be forced to sell. This is not good for Oregon.

    SB 1530 taxes important valued businesses to Oregon, such as food processing facilities and sawmills, that are critical to farmers and forest landowners. If any of these associated manufacturing businesses are lost or move out of Oregon, farmers and ranchers will have to transport their products farther. Log truck companies will haul longer routes to mills, and mills will be paying more in hauling costs associated with longer hauls and higher gas prices. Not to mention the additional release of carbon due to transportation. To compound this impact, whether transportation is by truck, rail, barge or ship, the fuel will cost more due to proposed legislation.

    SB 1530 turns the decision-making over to the DEQ, a bureaucracy with few checks on the system. Oregons DEQ does not have a role in regulating industries in Oregon and is ill-equipped to take up protocols. I do not support provisions that give DEQ rulemaking authority over proposed offset protocols and incentive programs for the agricultural, lumber, timber, fishing, transportation, industry sectors.

    SB 1530 gives Environmental Justice Task Force the responsibility for reviewing and recommending investments of revenues derived from this Cap and Trade Bill. This body is neither elected nor organized to provide expertise with regard to sequestration practices on Oregon’s farms and forests.

    Under SB 1530 the spending of taxes collected are exempt from public record. We want transparency! Under SB 1530 the spending of taxes collected are exempt from public record. We want transparency! Under section 31 of SB 1530 revenue relating to this bill is exempt from public record as identified under OR 192.311 to 192.478 and are considered confidential business information. This is wrong on many levels. I oppose this greatly.

    A .72-cent gas tax increase will put Oregons Transportaion industries on the chopping block. This increase will also hurt rural Oregonians since they must travel further distances to get their kids to school, buy groceries, etc. This costs increases over time.

    A 13% utility rate increase will equate to hundreds if not thousands per household each year and that’s just to start. These rates increase over time.

    Many natural gas customers will see rate increases the first year of the program. These added costs will increase each year without an off-ramp for struggling businesses.

    Propane customers receive no rate relief in the cap-and-trade bill and will face a minimum $0.16/ gallon increase in 2022. The bill will significantly increase costs for families located outside of metropolitan areas. Propane is the primary fuel to heat homes and schools in rural communities.

    There are no renewable technological solutions that can get Oregon’s economy to a carbon neutral, carbon free, or fossil free state. Solar and wind sources are not reliable enough nor produce enough to sustain our population, especially in rural Oregon communities.

    Add these everyday price increases to the $BILLIONS in new taxes that we did not get to vote on, under the Supermajority’s reign, and were looking at over $3,000/yr in additional taxes per household. Rural Oregon will be hit hard. This bill does not have balance nor enough support for our rural communities to prosper.

    I urge you to oppose the cap-and-trade bill SB 1530. Oregon’s Natural Resource businesses, rural communities and families can’t afford this policy, and more work needs to be done to address the concerns raised by farmers, ranchers, and loggers.

    Thank you for listening to my concerns.

    Sincerely,
    Jen Hamaker

  2. Dear President Trump, Oregon Republican Senators and Representatives,

    We need your help, please. We need as much attention, the right kind of attention as we can get so the liberal media don’t spin our cause into something it’s not and the tyrannical Kate Brown and her supermajority in Oregon’s Congress hear our message.

    The grassroots movement, #TimberUnity has made a call-to-action for a rally on February 6, 2020 in Salem, Oregon at the Capitol. We would sincerely appreciate your support and your presence.

    Rural Oregonians need your help, desperately! We are in the fight of our lives against the deep rooted, tyrannical Governor Kate Brown and the extremely liberal legislative super-majority that is undermining our already marginalized natural resources industries and livelihoods. They’re passing billions of dollars of new taxes, and silencing us by initiating emergency clauses and legislation that makes it extremely difficult to bring these bills to a vote by the people.

    Last June, Oregon’s Republican Senators walked out of the legislative session to avoid making a quorum for a vote on HB2020, a Cap and Trade bill. It was the only way our voices could be heard. Kate Brown deployed police to find and force the 11 Republican Senators back so a quorum would be made and they’d be able to vote. Oregon’s 11 refused to come back until they were assured that HB2020, the Cap and Trade bill was dead. Brown told a reporter that Oregon Senate Republicans’ walkout near the end of the 2019 session to kill a climate change bill (HB2020) “will haunt them over the next decade.” When a reporter asked if the governor planned to punish Republicans by vetoing legislation of importance to the GOP, Kate Brown responded with, “I will just say … revenge is a dish best served cold and slowly.”

    Just last November the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued 16 penalties to Oregon businesses for environmental violations, totaling $231,915. Roseburg Forest Products received the largest fine for $38,400 for an air quality violation. The Civil Penalty Order states, “The violations include operating a wood-waste boiler while the electrostatic precipitator (ESP) control device was not operating and exceeding opacity limits in the permit, starting on March 12, 2019 and continuing through March 13, 2019.” Roseburg Forest Products was fined $38,400 for 24 hours of non-compliance. There were no warnings given to these businesses so they could start a process of remedying what they were being cited for. On the DEQ’s website they state that their “enforcement process is progressive and focuses on working with organizations and individuals to identify and correct problems.” No one wanted to work with these businesses, this is revenge being served cold and slowly!

    Rural communities have been marginalized. Oregon’s Coast is gorgeous and majestic, but the once flourishing towns and communities that line the coast are starving for family wage jobs. Mills up and down the coast have been abandoned and communities dried up because of the lack of timber harvest, and commercial fishing. These mills are surrounded by vast timberlands that have been locked up to timber harvest. Tourism has taken over as the main source of income. Tourism jobs do not pay much more than minimum wage.

    The loss of family wage jobs has contributed to Oregon’s homelessness, mental illness and drug crisis. Oregon ranks among the states with the highest use of drugs: #1 for marijuana, #1 for opioid misuse, #2 for methamphetamine, #4 for cocaine, #4 for alcohol use disorder, #21 for heroin. A September 17 report from Mental Health America underlines Oregon’s shortcomings. Oregon ranks 50 out of 51 in a national survey that rank states on prevalence of mental illness. Oregon’s general population represents 1.3 percent of the total U.S. population. By contrast, the state’s homeless population make up 5.6 percent of the U.S. total—more than four times the rate of Oregon’s share of the U.S. total population. We need to support family wage not contribute to this problem.

    Just this year NORPAC (100 year old company), Stimson (1850’s) Roseburg Forest Products (1930’s), Swanson Group (1952), Georgia Pacific’s Coos Bay mill (25 years old), Bi-Mart (60 yrs), have all been legislated right out of business or into downsizing. All of these businesses have either laid off their employees or closed for good in part because of our political climate that undermines our livelihoods across Oregon. Companies can only lose money for so long before they are forced to close and that spells devastation for rural Oregon!

    This is not just a hit to the workers who lose these jobs, there is a ripple effect to the people who deliver goods, local farmers who sold and delivered their crops for processing, foresters, truckers, to local businesses; the local mom and pop diner, coffee shop, hairstylist, the dry-cleaner, etc. all rely on these people and their families having a job.

    The timber industry has been a target for environmentalists for decades, ramping up with the 1990’s Spotted Owl issue. Kate Brown and our Liberal Legislators have adopted their ideology. They’ve learned how to hold our state’s natural resource industries hostage in the courts for years. Oregon is the #1 softwood producer in our country, despite the strictest of regulation and laws on harvest, related roads, reforestation, waterways, etc. We are the number #1 because Oregon takes care of its natural resources for future generations. We harvest on 40-50 year rotations for the best yield and least amount of disturbances on our lands. We then replant and nurture those seedlings for the next decade, giving them the best chance to grow and become healthy forests. Our waterways are protected by allowing buffers. These buffers have proven themselves as a key component by producing the cleanest water in any industry and increased fish populations. The roads we build are sturdy and last for decades, yet are made with the least amount of impact as possible, while still protecting waterways and bringing access to areas for not only harvest operations but for fighting fires as well.

    Since 1971 the Forest Practices Act established a set of rules and laws that govern timberland owners and our industry so that our forests remain sustainable and renewable, and our waterways are protected. Forest professionals care for our forests, conserve fish and wildlife habitat, protect water, sustain forests for future generations, and make innovative, environmentally friendly forest products. Oregon’s forests are healthier and have more timber on them now than a century ago. We know how to successfully manage our forests.

    Oregon’s Governor makes appointments to over 250 Boards and Commissions including most major state agencies and departments headed by policy making boards. Policies coming out of Salem forced these companies out of business with every mandate, tax, fee increase, new labor policy and the threat of future regulations, laws, taxes and fees. Liberal Lawmakers and Governor Kate Brown are putting rural Oregon out of work.

    They’re at it again, during this short session that begins on February 3 through March 8, Oregon’s Governor and the liberal supermajority promised to push through a similar Cap and Trade Bill, SB 1530. This bill will devastate rural Oregonians. To start the bill will increase gas by .72 cents/gallon and raise electrical bills by 13%, and that’s just to start. By 2040 this bill will mandate that our carbon emissions are below that of 1990. We are a natural resource state that depends on logging, trucking, milling, ranching, agriculture, etc and this bill will devastate many businesses. To make matters worse this bill makes the DEQ (appointed by Governor Kate Brown) a bureaucracy of non-elected persons responsible for implementing this legislation. An Environmental Task Force will be established to review and recommend investments of revenues derived from this Cap and Trade Bill which will in large part not be in public record. This bill spells disaster for Oregon’s Natural Resource Industry and the hard working men and women and communities who depend on its stability.

    We know you feel our pain and understand our position. We are in a fight for our livelihoods and need your help. “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” Every generation must fight for freedom, now is our time. #TimberUnity has brought us together, inspired us, given us a community forum, keeps us all informed and gives us a place to feel proud and a part of. You and #TimberUnity have that in common, although his impact is on a bigger scale. #TimberUnity represents the men and women who make their living from the land; Foresters, Farmers, Millers, Ranchers, Truckers, Loggers, Miners, and Fishers in the Pacific Northwest. You represent the hard working men and women of America.

    Please join us at the rally on February 6, 2020 in Salem, Oregon at the Capitol building to help us fight and be a part of our movement.

    With sincerity and gratefulness,
    Jen Hamaker

  3. Please vote this bill down. Its environmental effect is minimal but its economic effect is huge.

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