HB 2020: relief for farmers and loggers

The Joint Committee On Carbon Reduction will be holding a work session today at 1pm in room HR F to discuss amendments. One worth discussing is Amendment 56, submitted by Senator Fred Girod (R-Stayton) that will give:

Any person that uses fuel to propel a motor vehicle registered under a farm vehicle registration pursuant to ORS 805.300 to 805.410 or a forest product vehicle registration pursuant to sections 70 to 80 of this 2019 Act may apply to the Department of Transportation for a refund equal to the number of gallons of fuel that the person used to propel the motor vehicle during the immediately preceding calendar year multiplied by 75 percent of the per gallon price of an allowance, as that term is defined in section 8 of this 2019 Act. The department shall calculate the per gallon price of an allowance using the auction floor price for allowances in the year for which the refund is claimed, as the auction floor price is set by the Carbon Policy Office under section 21 of this 2019 Act.

This is a fairly simple means of delivering some relief to what are often small businesses that might not be as efficient at buying emission allowances or even receiving free emission credits from the state, the way this bill offers relief to “trade-exposed manufactures.” Oregon’s farmers and loggers are indeed trade-exposed and just as much care should be taken to protect them from the effects of this bill as has been given to the industrial corridor of the Portland metropolitan area. This amendment should be an easy sell this afternoon.

Eric Shierman lives in Salem and is the author of We were winning when I was there.