SALEM, OR. (September 6, 2018) – A coalition of farmers, employers, and community leaders from across Oregon announced the launch of Partnership for Oregon Communities today. The organization is being formed in advance of the 2019 legislative session with the goal of playing an active role in discussions surrounding the implementation of a California-style cap-and-trade system.

“We want to add balance to Oregon’s one-sided cap-and-trade conversation and ensure that lawmakers are aware of the significant impacts this policy will have on families and communities,” said Linda Moholt, CEO, Tualatin Chamber of Commerce and Chairwoman, Oregon State Chamber of Commerce. “We believe the best environmental solutions come through collaboration at the grassroots level, not through complicated and costly bureaucracies.”

Cap-and-trade is a system designed to raise tax revenue, not reduce greenhouse gas emissions. An economic study conducted on a recently-proposed cap-and-trade bill found the system would significantly drive up the cost of gasoline, electricity, and natural gas for Oregonians around the state. Since 2000, Oregon has had more success in reducing emissions than California without cap-and-trade. In fact, California regulators attribute very little of their emission reductions to cap-and-trade. The legislation being developed in Salem would tie Oregon’s economy to California’s complicated carbon market, where credits are bought and sold by corporations and financial speculators.  Members of Partnership for Oregon Communities believe that the adoption of cap-and-trade will have devastating consequences for Oregon families and employers, particularly in the most rural parts of the state.

“Family farmers and ranchers are already struggling with the regulatory burdens and fees passed by the state legislature. Implementing cap-and-trade would increase the cost of fuel and energy on the farm, squeezing these families at a time when they are least able to afford it,” said Dave Dillon, Executive Vice President of Oregon Farm Bureau.

Governor Kate Brown and the leadership of the Oregon State Legislature have established a Joint Interim Committee on Carbon Reduction, which is developing a cap-and-trade bill to be considered in the 2019 legislative session. Both the Governor and legislative leadership have identified the bill as a major priority, and Partnership for Oregon Communities will be actively opposing the effort.

About Partnership for Oregon Communities

Partnership for Oregon Communities is a grassroots coalition committed to enacting policies that both increase the financial security of Oregonians and protections for our environment.  It is comprised of farmers, employers, community organizations and local officials from around the state.  For more information, please visit partnershipfororegon.com.