Oregon's Democratic Gov. Kate Brown is vowing to address climate change using executive action after the legislature’s Republican minority avoided voting in late June on a related bill before adjourning.
The legislature adjourned for the year on June 30 without passing the Democratic super majority’s climate and cap-and-trade bill. House Bill 2020, which had been approved by the state House, called for Oregon to adopt an emission cap-and-trade program and establish a Carbon Policy Office to adopt "climate action programs.” The bill also would have abolished state carbon standards.
Calling it a "major piece of unfinished business," Brown said lawmakers "need to pass a cap-and-invest program that will achieve the state's greenhouse gas emission reduction goals...I'm not backing down."
Democrats were elected with "a clear mandate" to address the challenge of climate change, she said.
Oregon's Senate GOP leader Herman Baertschiger celebrated the failure of the bill following a 10-day boycott in which 12 Republican lawmakers left the state to prevent the bill’s passage.
He called the walkout a "mission to kill cap-and-trade."
Brown had planned to sign the legislation, and she had dispatched state police to search for and bring back the dissenting lawmakers, but they never found their suspects.
Brown had criticized the Republican dissenters for blocking "a bill that provides a better future for our state and for our children, and the tactics they employed to do so are not just unacceptable, but dangerous."