Oregon House of Representatives’ adoption of HB 2020 sends legislation to Senate
OEC applauds the continued progress to climate history
SALEM — Oregon’s House of Representatives continued historic climate action Monday by approving HB 2020 under the eyes of thousands of grateful supporters and other states looking for their own solutions to climate disruption.
HB 2020 places a declining cap and price on greenhouse gases from the largest emitters in Oregon, and reinvests the proceeds into the state’s clean energy economy to create good-paying jobs and make our air cleaner. Lawmakers have vetted and discussed this bill in numerous public hearings, meetings and town halls.
This year, lawmakers held 21 hearings, including six “roadshows” that provided an opportunity for Oregonians in Medford, Newport, Bend, Baker City, The Dalles, and Springfield to participate. Hundreds attended with the majority voicing support for the legislation.
“Lawmakers have responded to the concerns of Oregonians most impacted by climate change, and Oregon Environmental Council gratefully supports the Clean Energy Jobs bill, which will lessen the harmful effects from climate disruption and create benefits throughout Oregon,” said Morgan Gratz-Weiser, Oregon Environmental Council Legislative Director.
One of the Clean Energy Jobs bill key provisions and objectives has been to dedicate the proceeds from the sale of pollution permits to communities most impacted by climate change. HB 2020 is the first climate bill in history to dedicate 10 percent of proceeds to tribal communities. The bill also sets up a Citizen Advisory Committee; requires consultation with the Environmental Justice Task Force; audits and contains reporting requirements for all dollars invested, and prioritizes the reduction of energy burdens for low-income households.
HB 2020 promotes greater investment in renewables and protects utility ratepayers, while incentivizing worker protections and strong wage standards for the expected 50,000 jobs this bill will create by 2050. The bill places Oregon in a position to join the Western Climate Initiative, a regional market for carbon trading.
“Lawmakers, with the support of dozens of statewide organizations, have crafted a climate bill tailored specifically to Oregon, and it places our state in a great position as our businesses and communities prepare for hotter summers, longer droughts and the increased threat of wildfires,” said Jana Gastellum, Oregon Environmental Council Climate Program Director. “By joining the Western Climate Initiative, our state will benefit from a well-established program, and we look forward to other states joining in the years to come.”
Further Reading and Media:
- A list and open letter by the near-60 organizations in coalition to support HB 2020, which includes environmental justice, business, labor, agriculture and many more interests. Video included
- A history of carbon pricing in Oregon
- OEC and partner visual media: Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger support for HB 2020 (California Governor at the time cap-and-trade passed), Former Vice President Al Gore endorsement, Agriculture Voices in Medford and Noti, Oregon, lawmaker voices from Lobby Day 2019, Youth Voices during Earth Day 2019
- OEC’s Clean Energy Jobs page
Tony Hernandez, Communications Manager
tonyh@OEConline.org, 503-222-1963 ext. 115