Two Oregon Democrat lawmakers said on Wednesday they would design a carbon trading bill for the state that they would aim to push through in the 2016 legislative session, after three similar initiatives failed this year.
State senators Chris Edwards and Lee Beyer said they would work on the bill over the next four months in an attempt to make sure the state meets its target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions to 10% below 1990 levels by 2020, reported state newspaper The Bulletin.
“I don’t think Congress has shown any interest in taking on real, meaningful climate legislation. I do feel like it is something that we all have to do,” Edwards said.
The senators had not yet finalised the proposal, but it would impose CO2 emission caps on local industry, and force those that emitted above the cap to pay a penalty or buy allowances from the government.
In this year’s legislative session, three competing cap-and-trade bills all failed to make it out of committee before the session ended in July.
Governor Kate Brown supported the previous draft bills, but said it was too soon to say whether she would back Edwards’ and Beyer’s proposal.
Republicans are likely to oppose the new bill as they have with similar proposals in the past.
“It’s a sales tax on fossil fuels is what it is,” Republican Senator Doug Whitsett told The Bulletin.