PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – It’s the talk of the country: Oregon Republican lawmakers in hiding to thwart a controversial bill aimed at dramatically reducing the state’s carbon emissions over time.

House Bill 2020, also known as Oregon’s cap-and-trade bill, was expected to pass as Democrats control both legislative chambers under Democratic Gov. Kate Brown. 

But what exactly is the proposal and how would it affect businesses and consumers? 

For starters, it would put a cap on most of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. Major polluters would have to pay to pollute by purchasing credits and there would be an ever-shrinking number of those allowances to go around. 

“Whenever you have a kind of policy like this, it’s going to have an impact on the economy because you are effectively increasing the costs for things that use carbon,” said Sahan Dissanayake, an assistant professor of economics at Portland State University.

Dissanayake said Oregonians could expect to pay more for fuel and energy as industries pass along costs.

But Dissanayake supports the bill and believes it’s the smartest way for Oregon to better deal with a global warming crisis.

Dissanayake told FOX 12 the bill is written to be slowly implemented and offer incentives and support for those who would be most greatly impacted.

“It’s trying to address this issue in a very balanced way,” Dissanayake said. “It’s a compromise bill because there’s a lot of things built in to try to mitigate the negative aspects that could happen.”

But the head of one local think tank believes there are no positives at all.

“This is probably the dumbest idea I’ve ever seen in my entire career,” said Cascade Policy Institute President and CEO John Charles. “It is a tax, it will make gasoline immediately about 20 cents per gallon more expensive – dollars more expensive in decades to come.” 

Charles didn’t mince words when he said there’s no point for Oregon to play hero of global warming. 

“We’re supposed to take one for the global team, and no benefits?” Charles said. “And pay all the costs? That’s insanity. That’s crazy.” 

The bill passed the House last week, but the Senate can’t vote on it until more Republicans return to their jobs. Republicans said they would rather see Oregonians vote on the issue as a measure.

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

Recommended for you

(3) comments

Yukon Jack

The world has gone completely mad. CO2 is not causing global warming, it is a minute trace gas measured in parts per million and human caused CO2 is only 1% of that. Passing legislation to control a trace gas that makes plants grow is insane, and will do nothing because CO2 is NOT a driver of global temperatures, never has been, never will. Every geologist on this planet knows that there is no correlation (on any timescale) of CO2 forcing temperature. Making laws based on political myths is ludicrous and insane, like Don Quixote fighting windmills. In previous earth ice ages CO2 was ten times higher, over 3,000 ppm. CO2 levels have no effect whatsoever on temperature. What this means is that CO2 levels will do nothing to change climate thermodynamics. The sun inputs 175,000 Terrawatts per hour while humans use 160,000 Tw per year. This is why computer climate models have failed, CO2 is not a driver and wishful thinking doesn't change reality. What is really going on here is politics as usual. Politicians need money, they never have enough money and they are always looking for new tax revenue (and ways to control the population because the love tyranny and hate freedom). There is nothing a politicians hates worse and despises more than a free man. The current Oregon crisis of senators on the lam is just the tip of the iceberg - legislation is being driven by lunatics on the left who live in la la land of environmental junk science and care nothing about truth.

Lawlessness Brings Destruction

This is part of the UNs Agenda 21 that President Bush Sr. signed the U.S. on to in 1992. See the YouTube video "Agenda 21 In 5 Minutes"...if it's still up. According to UN and other high placed eco-warriors, all that’s necessary to keep the planet habitable is to end capitalism—the one economic system that has lifted billions from poverty and suffering. The latest United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report led Eric Holthaus, a Grist writer, to tweet enthusiastically, “The world’s top scientists just gave rigorous backing to systematically dismantle capitalism as a key requirement to maintaining civilization and a habitable planet.” The sentiment is not new. Three years ago, while pushing for the Paris Climate Accord, U.N. climate official Christiana Figueres admitted that the Global Warming conspiracy set by the U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, of which she is the executive secretary, has a goal not of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity, but to destroy capitalism. She said very casually: “This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution.” She even restated that goal ensuring it was not a mistake: “This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model for the first time in human history.” To accomplish such a feat, the new report proposes an energy tax of epic proportions. It claims that, to keep warming in check, by 2030 we’ll need to impose a tax of between $135 and $5,500 on every ton of carbon emitted. And that’s just for starters. By the end of the century, the authors say, we’ll have to jack the tax up to as much as $27,000 per ton. The burden of this WMD in Oregon and elsewhere will only INCREASE as the capitalistic framework of the global economy is shattered, liberty and freedom will be erased by government mandates driven by the hoax and chains of a corrupted and DEBUNKED junk science theory, and nations will lose their sovereignty as power is centralized in the UN via these agreements nations sign on to. God bless and protect our Oregon Republican Senators, their staffs, and the families as they continue to stand for what is right and protecting the voice of the voters.


The most important thing wrong with HB 2020 is that it considers CO2 a pollutant. CO2 is not a pollutant...it is food for vegetation. That is why commercial greenhouses are operated with high CO2 atmospheres...it accelerates plant growth. Leaving this fact behind, below are five solid reasons to oppose HB 2020. There are no solid reasons to support it. First - HB 2020 is based on the false premise that human sources of co2 cause measurable climate change. There is no reliable evidence of this being the case (error prone computer models, manipulated proxy temperature data, tinkered-with measured temperature data, speculation/conjecture/circumstance). Second - even if there were reliable evidence of measurable human contribution to climate change, it has taken more than 100 years to set the change in motion. Thus, it is likely nothing humans can do that will significantly alter that motion. Third - the climate is changing, the reliable evidence shows this. The evidence also shows that it has happened repeatedly in the past. Thus, we need to adapt to the change. Instead of adapting our water systems, coastal surge protection, etc, HB 2020 is more wringing of hands, counting co2, and offering :kick-backs to the chosen few, while the rest of us are unnecessarily financially burdened. [The stated goal of HB 2020 is to reduce CO2 emissions (Revenue Impact analysis by the Legislative Revenue Office)] Fourth - the hb 2020 program is a massive reworking of the Oregon economy by a government that has proven itself incapable of even keeping itself functioning (DHS scandals, DOE BETC scandal, healthcare exchange scandal, governor ethics scandals, etc). Fifth - this massive economy reworking will cause substantial harm to Oregon employers, and citizens, with questionable, if any, real benefits. Even the Revenue Impact analysis by the Legislative Revenue Office recognizes the tremendous risk of this program and the radical changes required in response to this program: “This is a 30-year program that reconfigures much of the energy sector and the state economy. Naturally, any long-term program of this nature carries with it many uncertainties. A necessary condition for the success of the program is predicated upon the full electrification of Oregon’s light fleet by the year 2050.” Oregon needs an honest response to inevitable climate change rather than a political agenda response.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.