Oregon’s House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill to reduce carbon emissions from transportation with a clause that introduces offset trading in the north-western US state, bringing the law closer to fruition.
The legislation, which was approved by the state’s Senate last month, passed the House by a razor-thin margin of 31-29 after five-and-a-half hours of heated debate, local media reported.
Senate Bill 324 requires companies operating in the state to cut carbon emissions from fuels by 10 percent over 10 years from 2016, and creates a market to allow gasoline and diesel suppliers to buy carbon offsets from biofuel producers.
The bill’s passage also means state Republicans will act on their vow and refuse to work with Democrats on a separate transportation package that sought to provide funding for Oregon’s roads, bridges and other infrastructure through an increase in the gasoline tax.
The state has estimated SB 324 could raise the cost of gasoline by between 4 and 19 cents per gallon over the next 10 years.
For that reason, lawmakers included a provision to allow the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) – regulator of the new offset market – to shut it down should prices increase too much.
The bill, which is supported by Democrat Governor Kate Brown, now goes to her for final sign-off.
Click here to read more about SB 324.
By Mike Szabo – firstname.lastname@example.org