A draft bill for “cap and invest”, proposed by Senator Michael Dembrow and Representative Karin Power, was introduced to the Oregon Legislature on January 31, 2019. The bill is modeled after California’s system and would allow the possibility of trading with California through the Western Climate Initiative.

Similar bills were offered in 2018, SB 1507/HB 4001 but didn’t pass. Those bills would have established limits on greenhouse gas emissions in the state and require the largest emitters to purchase allowances to cover their output, similar to California’s system. Revenue generated from the auction of these allowances would go to communities disproportionately impacted by global warming and other energy and climate mitigation initiatives.

This year might be the year that the cap and invest bills do make it into law. As stated in an article by Climate XChange, “If a state has ever been politically positioned to pass carbon pricing legislation, its Oregon. For starters, Oregon’s recently re-elected governor, Kate Brown, has stated time and again that passing strong climate legislation is a top priority, and she’s far from being the state’s only prominent elected official with that mindset.

“Senate President Peter Courtney and House Speaker Tina Kotek have also expressed fervent commitment to passing a carbon pricing bill. The pair announced in March they would co-chair a Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction focused on ‘creating a cap-and-invest program for passage in the 2019 legislative session.'”

Last updated February 5, 2019