Taxpayers Association of Oregon
Disclaimer: We are in a national crisis and we wish to state upfront that we appreciate many of the current virus response actions of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Oregon Governor Kate Brown. We respectfully disagree on some matters for which could prove to outright economically dangerous and feel compelled to add them to the public discussion so we can find the best path out of this public disaster.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tried to include a Carbon Tax in the Coronavirus stimulus bill this week. Pelosi’s amendments required airlines (on the brink of financial collapse) to be carbon free by 2025 and those that can’t (which no airline could achieve) must meet that goal through carbon offsets. These carbon offsets are expected to be massive tax payments to third party slush funds. Pelosi’s amendments also include generous wind and solar power tax handouts.
In Oregon, Governor Kate Brown saw her Carbon Tax plan fail in the February Legislature. In response Governor Brown decided to override the elected Legislature and bypass the State Constitution by enacting parts of her Carbon Tax through a Governor’s Executive Order on March 10th. On March 10th, Governor Brown signed order #20-24 which will increases gas taxes, electricity rates and housing costs. It increases gas taxes by mandating more restrictive Low Carbon Fuel Standards which has the effect of forcing gas companies to purchase more expensive gasoline. The Order increases electricity rates through new mandates on the Public Utility Commission and Energy Department. The Order increases the cost of building a house by increasing the environmental building codes to the highest requirements possible. The Order also impacts everyday household products such as fluorescent lights, computers, faucets, shower heads, washers, dryers, water heaters, steam cookers, and more.
Not only is Governor Brown’s Carbon Tax Executive Order unconstitutional, but it comes at the worst possible time. You simply do not raise gas prices, electricity rates and housing costs in the middle of a world-wide economic calamity. All it takes from Governor Brown is a simple revoking of her Order for which will save millions in additional costs to small businesses and taxpayer families. It doesn’t cost a thing.
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