Hundreds protest new cap-and-trade bill in Salem

SALEM, Ore. — Loggers, truckers, farmers, and other rural Oregonians turned out in droves at the capitol on Thursday.

They’re protesting the controversial climate bill known as ‘cap and trade bill.’

That bill resulted in a multi-day Republican walkout 6 months ago blocking any bills from being passed or even voted on.

Senate Republicans say that could happen again.

Cap and trade is a term used for capping the amount of carbon companies can release into the air. If companies stay under the cap, they can trade their leftover emissions allowance to others.

This year’s bill does come with some changes, for instance, asking for less fuel regulations in rural Oregon.

But Fred Simon, a farmer from Klamath County, says the changes won’t prevent higher fuel prices.

“When the fuels go up, like as farmers, even though we have exemption for now, eventually, we’re not going to be exempt. It’s going to cost more to do our businesses. The big companies get carved out, the little guys are going to get squeezed down,” said Fred Simon, a farmer from Klamath County.

If the bill passes, Simon says it will greatly affect his business and livelihood.

He’s a member of a Facebook group called “Timber Unity” that is organizing the protests.

It currently has over 54,000 members.

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