Cap and Trade Response

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It doesn't appear that the battle over cap and trade will end anytime soon.

There is reaction from the Oregon Farm Bureau to Gov. Brown's executive order concerning state actions to aggressively lower greenhouse gas emissions.

The following is a statement released Friday, March 13, by the Farm Bureau.

"Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB) is strongly opposed to the new carbon regulation outlined in the Governor Brown’s sweeping executive order issued on Tuesday. The executive order is designed to implement caps on emissions from transportation fuels, natural gas, and large industrial sources, as well as ramp up the state’s already ambitious Clean Fuels Program.

OFB has consistently engaged around carbon policy in our state for the past decade, and we have shared our concerns about the impacts of the cost increases associated with past proposals for the past several years.

Instead of addressing those concerns, we believe the approach in the executive order will be even more detrimental to rural communities than any of the previous cap-and-trade proposals. The cost increases on communities associated with this proposal will be astronomical.

In addition, the governor has issued this executive order knowing that the rules adopted pursuant to it will face significant legal challenges. A similar effort in Washington state resulted in years of costly litigation, with limited results.

The executive order also hands over unprecedented levels of power to unelected bureaucrats who will have the authority to regulate virtually every sector of our state’s economy, including input costs on farms and ranches. As we read it, state agencies are directed to advance rules to drive up the cost everyday necessities for Oregon farmers, including gasoline and diesel and basic utilities like natural gas and propane.

New mandates directed at in-state food processors will add additional costs to being located in Oregon. This will certainly drive down Oregon’s footprint because these businesses will be incentivized to leave the state — taking local jobs and tax revenue with them.

Oregon farmers and ranchers are already doing our part to sequester carbon and reduce our environmental footprint. This executive order will not make a meaningful difference in combatting global climate change, will cost the state millions to defend in court, and will have an immediate and severe impact on Oregon’s rural communities.

We strongly urge Governor Brown to reconsider this approach."

In a Chronicle online survey, participants responding overwhelmingly supported the idea of allowing voters to decide whether Oregon should adopt cap and trade legislation.

The Chronicle will continue to monitor this developing story with updates here online and in the Wednesday print editions of The Chronicle.

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