SALEM — Oregon is on the precipice of becoming the second state, after California, to adopt a cap-and-trade program, a market-based approach to lowering the greenhouse gas emissions behind global warming.
The House approved House Bill 2020 on a 36-24 vote Monday night after nearly six hours of debate, with supporters calling it the United States’ most progressive climate policy. Rep. Karin Power, D-Milwaukie and one of two key lawmakers behind the measure, said it not only cuts emissions but invests in moving the state economy and infrastructure to better prepare for more intense weather events tied to climate change.
“This is the fight of our lifetime that has been discussed for far too long with far too little action,” she said. “Action must become part of our collective national fabric and normalized as we recognize the crisis before us and step up to the challenge.”
Republican representatives from Central Oregon — Cheri Helt, of Bend; Mike McLane, of Powell Butte; and Jack Zika, of Redmond — all voted “no.”