Salem, Ore. – Oregon’s timber workers are preparing for a convoy to the Capitol. They’ll be coming from all over the state, driving to Salem first thing in the morning to protest the new Cap and Trade bill. The bill is aimed at reducing Oregon’s carbon emissions, but loggers and other trade workers say the gas tax part of the bill will hit them especially hard. The group Timber Unity on Facebook has about 53,000 members. They believe Oregon can reduce carbon emissions without any new taxes. They’ll present their own plan to do that today. KXL’s Rosemary Reynolds is talking with truckers at the weigh station in North Plains and will have more on the story throughout the day. Check out these photos from Rosemary:
One couple on their way to Salem this morning is Dawn and her husband. They’re longtime small business owners in East county and have never been politically active until now. Dawn tells KXL’s Jacob Dean they’ll be volunteering, helping to setup in Salem later this morning.
On the other side of the issue – some Rural Oregonians strongly support the Cap and Trade bill. Meghan Kemple is the Director of the Oregon Climate and Agriculture Network. She says over 250 stake holders like farmers and ranchers from across Oregon have signed a letter in support of the proposal. She tells KXL’s Mike Turner, significant changes have been made to the policy that will protect rural communities and address concerns. Like rising fuel costs will actually phase in over time.
Meanwhile, a Republican lawmaker in Salem says Democrats are making another GOP walkout likely, because of amendments they added to a cap and trade bill. Senator Fred Girod tells the Statesman Journal the bill which would raise fuel prices to cap greenhouse gases, is even worse than the original, that led to a Republican walkout last year, which denied Democrats a vote on the bill.