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Letter: Oregon cap and trade bill will reduce greenhouse gases

Published on January 18, 2018 12:01AM

Last changed on January 18, 2018 9:09PM

Soon the Oregon Legislature will be considering the Clean Energy Jobs bill. In a nutshell, this policy will provide a cap on pollution developed with the best science available and allowing a pricing schedule that is reasonably stable and flexible through time. The proceeds will be invested into clean energy and sustainable projects throughout all social, economic, and cultural strata. A minimum of 35 percent of proceeds will be invested to reduce pollution and climate impacts experienced by low-income and rural communities, communities of color and workers in Oregon. I urge you to become informed on this timely and important bill and then actively support it. I feel it moves Oregon and the nation toward addressing reduction of greenhouse gas emissions — a necessary first step if we are to provide a future climate on Earth wherein humans may thrive.

Carbon pricing has a lengthy history in Oregon dating back to 1997; therefore, the current legislature has access to sufficient information and available expertise in the field to analyze this approach known as a cap and invest. Oregon would be joining several other states in greenhouse gas reduction efforts. Knowledge gained by the states will guide development of national models for carbon pricing and resulting greenhouse gas reduction efforts.

At this point in time any delay adds to the cost and difficulty of implementation necessary to achieve the required reduction trajectory (another term to become familiar with — ask your senator/representative to explain the concept).

There is always uncertainty regarding effectiveness of any legislation but in this case the more troublesome uncertainty is how our climate responds to inaction. You must not think of this as Oregon acting alone and having little global impact but as Oregon trying to influence national efforts, which will have tremendous global impact on climate change.

It is the job of elected leaders to inform their constituents of potential threats to our way of life; unfortunately this has not happened. I find it worrisome that they have had annual briefings on this for decades and are unwilling to start a dialog with us regarding solutions. Please take a few moments to learn about the Clean Energy Jobs bill and let your leaders know that you are holding them accountable.

Charles LeBold



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