Oregon Governor Takes Matters Into Her Own Hands After Cap and Trade Bill Fails
Salem, OR – On Tuesday, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed an executive order to cap greenhouse gas emissions after controversial cap and trade legislation failed for the second time in two years.
Gov. Brown’s executive order aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 45% below 1990 levels within the next 15 years.
Additionally, the action requires the State’s biggest “climate polluters” to reduce carbon levels by 80% over the next three decades and directs the Environmental Quality Commission to set and enforce sector-specific caps on three of the largest sources of emissions: transportation fuels, natural gas, and large industrial polluters.
The executive action comes just two weeks since Republicans once again walked out of the state legislature denying the Democratic lawmakers the quorum required by law to pass a controversial cap and trade bill, Senate Bill 1530.
A similar scenario unfolded in the legislature last year when Republicans walked out as Democratic leaders attempted to force a vote on House Bill 2020.
At the conclusion of the legislature’s regular session on March 6, Gov. Brown vowed to take action.
“I have always been clear that a legislative solution was my preferred path to tackle the impacts of climate change,” Brown said. “However, I will not back down. In the coming days, I will be taking executive action to lower our greenhouse gas emissions.”
She followed through on that promise yesterday.
It’s time we put Oregon on a path our children can be proud of. Today I issued an executive order setting new science-based climate goals, and directing state agencies to take urgent action to lower greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change. https://t.co/AnDSpsHeaN
— Governor Kate Brown (@OregonGovBrown) March 10, 2020
At a press conference on Tuesday announcing the executive action, Gov. Brown said Republicans “should have stayed in the Capitol and completed their work and done their jobs.”
Senate Republican Leader, Herman Baertschiger, Jr., responded to Gov. Brown in a scathing statement accusing her of exacting “revenge” on her political opponents.
“The Governor is ignoring Oregonians,” Baertschiger said. “She is not listening to three quarters of the state or the 28 counties that signed proclamations against the cap and trade concept. It’s obvious Kate Brown is not Oregon’s Governor, she is Portland’s Governor, and as she promised, she is serving revenge, cold and slowly.”
In recent months, hundreds of truckers have demonstrated at the State Capitol in opposition to cap and trade legislation which they believe will result in skyrocketing energy costs and put many drivers out of work.
Vocal opponents within the trucking community include the Oregon Trucking Association and Timber Unity, a 60,000-member logging activist group throughout the Pacific Northwest.
These groups, along with Republican lawmakers, prefer to allow voters to decide the issue through a ballot measure.
Gov. Brown’s executive action is expected to be challenged in court.
Transportation Nation Network will continue to follow the story.