County commissioners express concern with cap and trade

An industrial facility in Jackson County (Georgia Lawson/News 10)

The Jackson County Commissioners plan to speak out against Oregon House Bill 2020, which would establish a statewide cap and trade program for carbon emissions.

The bill, if enacted, would place a progressively lower cap on greenhouse gas emissions over time, and auction off permission to emit more emissions to businesses and groups wanting to pay for it.

Proponents of the bill say it’s necessary to push businesses toward green energy to reduce statewide carbon emissions.

Opponents worry about the financial impact, like increases to gas prices, food, and utilities. At a meeting Wednesday, the Jackson County Commissioners echoed those concerns.

“We are concerned on behalf of our residents, as well as the impact in any other area of the state, but very specifically our charge is our county and we have something to say,” said Commissioner Bob Strosser.

Strosser said it’s about cost and benefit, expressing concern that the higher prices could drive away businesses operating in the area or looking to move here. Those in favor of the bill argue that the costs of not acting on climate change will be more expensive to citizens over time.

The Board of Commissioners plan to make an appearance at a meeting held by the Oregon Committee on Carbon Reduction this Saturday in Medford, as part of their listening tour around the state.

The event will take place from 9 a.m. to noon at the Central Medford High School auditorium, and is open to the public.

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