Cap and trade bill remains shrouded in secrecy

Oregonians and businesses left in the dark as legislature convenes first meetings

By Partnership for Oregon Communities —

Despite the formal introduction of legislative concepts last week, Oregonians and businesses still have few specific details on the cap and trade bill expected to be considered in the 2019 session. A draft of the bill was not included among the thousands of bills introduced during the Legislature’s organizational session last week.

“Proponents of cap and trade are seeking one of the most radical regulatory shifts in our state’s history, yet the exact details of what they are proposing are anything but clear,” said Preston Mann, spokesperson for Partnership for Oregon Communities. “Lawmakers, businesses and the public must have an opportunity to thoroughly review this legislation and its impacts before it moves forward. That is not possible right now, as supporters have insisted on drafting language in secret.”

Proponents have disclosed little in the way of new information about the proposed program since 2018. New details are not expected to be released during the Joint Carbon Reduction Committee’s meeting this week.

“Every single Oregonian will be impacted by this proposal, with increased energy, transportation and household costs borne every single month,” Mann continued. “This process stands in stark contrast to the effort lawmakers put into passing a transportation package in 2017, and to the current efforts involving the Joint Student Success Committee, both of which saw lawmakers visiting communities all across the state to hear directly from Oregonians before drafting and releasing legislation.

Following organizational meetings last week, lawmakers will reconvene in the Capitol this week to consider their first bills of the 2019 session.

Partnership for Oregon Communities is a grassroots coalition committed to enacting policies that both increase the financial security of Oregonians and protections for our environment. It is comprised of farmers, employers, unions and community leaders from around the state.