VOTE: NO – Died in Committee for lack of quorum.
Status (overview) of bill: https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2020R1/Measures/Overview/SB1530
28 Counties have opposed The Cap and Trade tax legislation.
This bill requires large polluters to purchase permits for their greenhouse gas emissions with availability of permits declining over time, supposedly 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.