For Immediate Release, June 25, 2019
Contact: Jim Walsh, [email protected], 732-979-6883
Salem - After passing the State House last week, Oregon’s controversial cap-and-trade bill appears to be dead in the State Senate. Majority Leader Peter Courtney announced today that Democrats didn’t have the votes to pass the bill. HB 2020 would have established a cap-and-trade scheme aimed at reducing carbon emissions in the state. Critics of such policies have pointed out that market-based policies are insufficient to address the climate crisis, and often lead to increased pollution in low-income communities of color located near industrial sites. In response, Jim Walsh, Energy Policy Analyst at Food & Water Watch, issued the following statement:
“Oregon can be a real climate leader, but not if the state pursues policies like cap-and trade. However well intentioned, HB 2020 would have failed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions enough to avoid the worst of the climate crisis. Worse yet, a cap-and-trade bill would have likely resulted in an increase in pollution in environmental justice communities that are already bearing the health impacts of industrial toxins.
“When legislators and Governor Brown go back to the drawing board to take aim at climate change, they should ditch carbon pricing, offsets, biofuels, and other unproven, expensive technologies. Instead, they should focus on reducing climate pollution at the source--a time-tested policy that has proven results. Not only would such efforts protect the global climate, but they will reduce life-threatening pollution in Oregon communities whose health has been put at risk for decades.
“Rather than embracing dubious policies like carbon pricing, Governor Brown and the legislature need to stop all new fossil fuel infrastructure and develop a plan for a just and equitable transition to 100% clean renewable energy. We stand ready to work with Governor Brown to implement an energy plan that Oregon needs and deserves.”
Food & Water Watch mobilizes regular people to build political power to move bold and uncompromised solutions to the most pressing food, water, and climate problems of our time. We work to protect people’s health, communities, and democracy from the growing destructive power of the most powerful economic interests.