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Notes from Joint Interim Committee on Carbon Reduction Meeting

June 13, 2018

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In an effort to pass a carbon pricing policy for Oregon in 2019, state lawmakers formed the Joint Interim Committee on Carbon Reduction and the Carbon Policy office during the 2018 legislative session.

The Committee met for the first time on May 22nd (video footage available) to hear from Phil Mote, Director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute, on Oregon’s climate change facts and Richard Whitman, Director of Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality, on the state’s efforts thus far to curb greenhouse gas emissions. These presentations were followed by Dallas Burtraw, Senior Fellow at Resources for the Future, who provided recommendations regarding effective policy design. Notable takeaways from Burtraw include: 

  • DEQ should auction credits instead of providing free allowances, which can lead to windfall profits when costs are shifted to consumers instead of regulated entities;

  • Oregon’s program should implement a price floor, as the biggest threat to cap-and-trade programs is often not high prices, but rather extremely low prices at auction; and

  • Oregon has the opportunity to set an example with effective policy making, but this will require Oregon to revise past legislative cap-and-trade proposals.


The committee’s next meeting will be held on June 26th, including updates from the newly formed Carbon Policy Office.

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