SALEM, Ore (KGW) – Oregon’s governor has authorized the state police to round up GOP state senators who walked out in protest of a bill.
The Republican senators walked out Thursday to prevent a vote on the cap-and-trade energy conservation bill. “Unfortunately, Senate Republicans failed to show up and failed to do their jobs,” Governor Kate Brown (D) said.
The proposed law would lower emissions while investing in low-income and rural communities’ ability to adapt to climate change.
Opponents say the plan would increase the cost of fuel, damage small businesses, truckers and the logging industry.
Sen. Tim Knopp (R-Bend), “The only option we had to slow this down and get the attention of the public and the majority was to deny quorum and walk out.”
Under the proposed cap-and-trade bill, Oregon would put an overall limit on greenhouse gas emissions and auction off pollution “allowances” for each ton of carbon industries plan to emit.
The legislation would lower that cap over time to encourage businesses to move away from fossil fuels. The state would reduce emissions to 45% below 1990 levels by 2035, and 80% below 1990 levels by the year 2050.