Ways and Means members adopt HB 2020, moves forward historic climate action
The Clean Energy Jobs bill now moves toward votes in House and Senate
SALEM — The 21-member Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday approved legislation in the State Capitol Building that, according to experts, will add 50,000 new jobs by 2050, and invest hundreds of millions of dollars to fight costly climate disruption in communities that need it the most.
Thousands of Oregonians, hundreds of businesses and dozens of statewide organizations have waited long enough, and Oregon Environmental Council applauds lawmakers for bringing HB 2020 to a vote in the House and Senate floors.
HB 2020 places a declining cap and price on greenhouse gases from the largest emitters in Oregon, and reinvest the proceeds into the state’s clean energy economy to create good-paying jobs and make our air cleaner. More than 55,000 clean energy jobs already exist and the clean energy sector is growing faster than other polluting industries, according to an analysis by E2. Further, HB 2020 will catalyze the state’s GDP by 2.5 percent by 2050, according to economist David Roland-Holst.
“We are thrilled to see the progress of the Clean Energy Jobs bill,” said Morgan Gratz-Weiser, Oregon Environmental Council Legislative Director. “This bill gives Oregon significant capacity to prepare our families and businesses for climate disruption while doing our global part to cut harmful carbon emissions.”
Wednesday’s vote comes after a second round of amendments were adopted Tuesday by members of the Natural Resources subcommittee. The amendments include minor changes to forestry offsets, an expedited process for the Oregon Supreme Court review of natural gas proceeds, and the inclusion of aerospace companies as an Emissions Intensive Trade Exposed Industry.
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 Swarzeneiger’s 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