Demonstrations for and against cap and trade show divide across Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. — The groups pushing for and against SB 1530 in the Oregon Legislature rallied Thursday.

The proposed law, more commonly known as cap and trade, aims at setting the state on a path to significantly lower green house gas emissions, mostly in the form of carbon dioxide. Part of the law would include a tax on gas and diesel to encourage people to drive less and switch to electric vehicles.

Timber Unity had hundreds of loggers and others gather Thursday with their trucks at the Capitol in Salem. They want everyone to know why the bill should die.

“It’s not just the loggers, it’s not just the farmers, it’s not just the trucking businesses, it’s all of us. It’s all the way down to every consumer,” said Matt Gourley from MNG Trucking in Scio. “The costs of all your goods are going to go up in the stores.”

RELATED: Truckers, timber industry protest cap-and-trade bill at Oregon Capitol

Timber Unity members worry the tax on fuels will push prices up and do not believe Democrat assurances that they will be protected.

“It’s going to increase the cost of living and it’s not going to do any good,” said Bret Schmid of Bret Schmid Trucking.

On the other side, the group Renew Oregon, which supports the cap and trade bill, gathered high school students to insist lawmakers take action.

“More and more of us are progressing into adulthood and be forewarned, we will not sit idly,” said Rhylie Woodley, a 17-year-old student at Grant High School in Portland.

“A wealthy fossil industry uses fear and misinformation to get rural, working people to deny climate change and fight against climate action,” said Mia Stout, a 15-year-old from Newport High School.

Students rally in support of cap and trade bill

Students rally in support of cap and trade bill

Students rally in support of cap and trade bill

Pat Dooris

Renew Oregon hopes lawmakers pass the cap and trade bill, but they are also preparing to take the issue directly to voters.

“And the clean air protections in those ballot measures are much stronger. So if industry is opposing our bill, they will not enjoy what the ballot measures will do,” said communications director Brad Reed.

RELATED: How much will state’s new cap and trade bill cost Oregonians?

RELATED: Oregon Democrat and Republican senators pulled in opposite directions on cap and trade

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