Carbon Pricing Policy in Oregon

As a statewide organization focused on mobilizing industry support and business leadership toward advancing climate policy and instituting a price on carbon emissions while strengthening Oregon’s economy, the Alliance supports passing cap-and-invest legislation in 2018.

See our Mission and Key Policy Principles Here

What Is Cap and Invest?

Visual description of cap and invest policy program

Cap and invest is a market based system that first originated in addressing acid rain under the Clean Air Act in 1990. It utilizes an economy-wide cap on emissions sources to offer a flexible mechanism at the lowest cost for reducing GHG emissions. In a cap and invest program, regulated businesses buy market-priced allowances for any additional emissions and are thus encouraged to reduce their carbon footprint.  Currently, 9 states in the Northeast U.S. (Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative) and California have cap and invest policies in place.

In Oregon, establishing a statewide carbon pricing mechanism is not a new idea. See an overview of the history of carbon pricing in Oregon and past policy efforts HERE.

In 2018, a carbon pricing proposal introduced in the Oregon State Legislature would have created a cap and invest system linking Oregon to California’s current system, which is also connected to Quebec and British Columbia. The proposal was to limit the amount of carbon dioxide emissions on about 100 Oregon companies (that emit at least 25,000 tons of CO2 per year) throughout the state. Although the bill did not pass, the Legislature did approve a one-time $1.4 million General Fund appropriation to support a Carbon Policy Office. The appropriation includes $650,000 to fund studies to examine the economic impact analysis of a cap and trade program on Oregon's jobs and economy, leakage risk of emission intensive, trade exposed industries (EITEs), and carbon sequestration.

Cap and invest is expected to be a top legislative priority in 2019 and the Alliance is committed to working with our lawmakers and others to ensure that Oregon's system is good for Oregonians, the environment and the economy.

Additional Resources

Go to our Resources Page for additional links and information HERE