Salem, Oregon – The Oregon House finally passed the climate bill last night. After more than six hours of debate and failed motions from Republicans the Cap and Trade bill was approved 36 to 24 by the Democratic super majority. The bill now heads to the Senate. KXL’s Mike Turner reports.
After the vote, lots of local reaction started pouring in:
Governor Kate Brown today applauded the progress of Oregon’s cap and invest legislation, House Bill 2020. The Oregon House of Representatives voted to pass the bill.”We see the effects of climate change in record temperatures, declining snowpack, reduced summer streamflow, water scarcity, increased wildfires, and elevated public health risks,” said Governor Brown. “We have a historic opportunity to protect our children’s futures by building long-term competitiveness while creating good jobs and improving access to affordable energy.”
Representative Shelly Boshart Davis released the following statement about the passage of House Bill 2020: “This whole session, as part of the Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction, I have worked tirelessly on this bill to try to minimize the harmful impacts on working families while maximizing greenhouse gas reductions. Unfortunately, all the effort has been for nothing.” After a marathon debate, the House of Representatives passed the massive bill that will have the effect of completely reorganizing the Oregon economy in the face of bipartisan opposition. “By passing this bill, the supermajority tightened its squeeze on those working paycheck to paycheck. The House failed Oregonians today. I hope the Senate will do right by them and fix this terrible bill.”
“Today was a historic vote in the House of Representatives. We’ve never been closer to passing the Clean Energy Jobs bill and reaping the benefits of clean energy for all Oregonians. Now our Senate must step up and see it through,” stated Meredith Connolly, Oregon State Director for Climate Solutions.
OEC applauds the continued progress to climate history- Oregon’s House of Representatives continued historic climate action Monday by approving HB 2020 under the eyes of thousands of grateful supporters and other states looking for their own solutions to climate disruption.
HB 2020 places a declining cap and price on greenhouse gases from the largest emitters in Oregon, and reinvests the proceeds into the state’s clean energy economy to create good-paying jobs and make our air cleaner. Lawmakers have vetted and discussed this bill in numerous public hearings, meetings and town halls.
This year, lawmakers held 21 hearings, including six “roadshows” that provided an opportunity for Oregonians in Medford, Newport, Bend, Baker City, The Dalles, and Springfield to participate. Hundreds attended with the majority voicing support for the legislation.
“Lawmakers have responded to the concerns of Oregonians most impacted by climate change, and Oregon Environmental Council gratefully supports the Clean Energy Jobs bill, which will lessen the harmful effects from climate disruption and create benefits throughout Oregon,” said Morgan Gratz-Weiser, Oregon Environmental Council Legislative Director.
One of the Clean Energy Jobs bill key provisions and objectives has been to dedicate the proceeds from the sale of pollution permits to communities most impacted by climate change. HB 2020 is the first climate bill in history to dedicate 10 percent of proceeds to tribal communities. The bill also sets up a Citizen Advisory Committee; requires consultation with the Environmental Justice Task Force; audits and contains reporting requirements for all dollars invested, and prioritizes the reduction of energy burdens for low-income households.
HB 2020 promotes greater investment in renewables and protects utility ratepayers, while incentivizing worker protections and strong wage standards for the expected 50,000 jobs this bill will create by 2050. The bill places Oregon in a position to join the Western Climate Initiative, a regional market for carbon trading.
“Lawmakers, with the support of dozens of statewide organizations, have crafted a climate bill tailored specifically to Oregon, and it places our state in a great position as our businesses and communities prepare for hotter summers, longer droughts and the increased threat of wildfires,” said Jana Gastellum, Oregon Environmental Council Climate Program Director. “By joining the Western Climate Initiative, our state will benefit from a well-established program, and we look forward to other states joining in the years to come.”
Further Reading and Media:
Members of the Oregon House of Representatives voted to pass HB 2020, the Clean Energy Jobs bill, today. It was the first time in Oregon history a cap-and-invest program to reduce climate pollution has ever received a floor vote in either chamber. The bill now moves to the Senate for a floor vote.
“Today, a majority of Oregon representatives showed vision and leadership by moving the Clean Energy Jobs bill forward. Our state is poised to adopt an innovative program to guarantee reductions in climate pollution year after year, while investing millions in communities across our state to make people’s lives better, the air cleaner, and our economy stronger,” said Tera Hurst, Executive Director of Renew Oregon.
“After an intensive process, this bill is moving toward final passage with strong standards in place to invest in Oregon projects to be done by workers earning a livable wage, with adequate benefits, and with a focus on training the next generation of Oregon tradeswomen and tradesmen,” said Robert Camarillo, Executive Secretary of Oregon State Building and Construction Trades Council. “I’m confident legislators have built in as many protections as possible to make the transition to a clean economy beneficial, while minimizing disruption for our current workforce.”
“The legislation moving forward today acknowledges the severe impacts of climate change on Tribal people. Oregon’s Tribes have worked hard with legislators to develop an effective cap and invest program,” said Don Sampson, Climate Change Project Director at Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians. “The 10% of investment funds set aside for local Tribes, a first for carbon pricing policy in North America, will bolster our communities as we seek to continue our sustainability and clean energy efforts.”
“Oregon is one step closer to becoming a national destination for cleantech investment and jobs as the Clean Energy Jobs bill passes the House. With a clean energy workforce already exceeding 55,000 and dozens of companies driving this economy, Oregon is projected to add 50,000 additional jobs thanks to investments from this program and beyond,” said Andy Wunder, Western States Advocate at E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs).
“There’s an awakening in our state and across the country to both the severity of the climate crisis and the short timeline in which we all must act to stop the damage from becoming unthinkable,” said Doug Moore, Executive Director of Oregon League of Conservation Voters. “Today, these representatives rose to the challenge with the boldness necessary to make our state a leader and an example of how to combat the climate crisis while prioritizing those communities hit worst by it — with investments to protect lands and water, create good-paying jobs, and reduce pollution.”