Originally Written April 5, 2019
The Oregon Legislature is considering legislation known as the Clean Energy Jobs Bill (HB 2020) in the 2019 session. The Bill will propose implementing a Greenhouse Gas Emissions (ghgs) Cap-and-Trade system in Oregon.
A Cap-and-trade system sets a limit to the amount of ghgs emitted annually, uses permits to allocate each unit of ghgs allowed, and establishes a market in which businesses and other entities can buy or sell those permits. Revenue raised from selling the permits in Oregon’s system are expected to fund items like ghg reduction measures in the energy and transportation sectors, lowering power bills for low-income residents (including renters), and supporting dislocated workers. Money collected from the sale of permits could be used to offset increased costs to consumers and the dislocation of workers as a result of the bill. The most recent version of the bill proposes that at least half of all funds must benefit rural and low-income communities, with 10% earmarked for federally recognized tribes. Oregon DEQ estimates the overall economic impacts are small relative to the size of Oregon’s economy; on the order of 1%.
The City of Eugene is supportive of HB2020 based on the City Council’s 2015 Resolution No. 5130, supporting a statewide carbon pricing policy. A carbon pricing policy could reduce Eugene’s sector based ghg’s by 430,000 MTCO2e, or roughly 90% of the estimated gap between actions proposed by Eugene Climate Collaborative members and the adopted CRO goals. These estimates are encouraging, yet there are many local actions that will be shared with City Council in future work sessions that can ensure these efforts meet our targets and support our local community.
Yesterday, the Eugene Weekly published a guest viewpoint co-written by Mayor Vinis and Kitty Piercy that highlights the environmental and economic benefits of the Clean Energy Jobs bill. Read the full article here.
For more information about the development of the Clean Energy Jobs Bill, visit this website.
For more information on the CAP2.0, visit the project website.