Legislators kick off bicameral focus on carbon caps

House and Senate committee chairs form climate change focused work group

SALEM – The Chairs of the Oregon Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee and House of Representatives Energy and Environment Committee are planning to form a work group that will begin discussing concepts related to carbon pricing in Oregon.

Currently, there are five bills between the two legislative chambers that are designed to address carbon caps and pricing in different ways. Members of both committees will join with other stakeholders to form the work group. The group will be gathering information and all bill proposals go through the Legislature’s usual committee process.

“We’re going to have a broad-based discussion about the most effective components of carbon trading systems,” said Rep. Ken Helm (D-Beaverton), who chairs the House of Representatives Energy and Environment Committee. “We will include the forestry and the cattle and grazing sectors in creative ways we haven’t talked about before to help slow carbon emissions while creating rural economic opportunities statewide.”

The first meeting is scheduled from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 7, in Hearing Room D at the Oregon State Capitol. The work group is open to all legislators who are interested in participating and the public is welcome to attend.

“It’s time for us to continue our pioneering ways by taking the lead in battling climate change,” said Sen. Michael Dembrow (D-Portland), who chairs the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee. “This is an opportunity to begin showing the people of this state and the rest of the nation that we take this issue seriously. This also is an opportunity to strengthen our state’s position as a clean energy leader, creating jobs for rural Oregonians while we protect the environment. For too long, there has been a war waged between jobs and protecting the environment. I think we can have both.”

For more information contact: Rick Osborn (503) 986-1074 Scott Moore 9503) 986-1904 Oregon State Legislature