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, Oregon Business for Climate supports passing Cap and Trade legislation in Oregon.

See our Mission and Key Policy Principles Here

HB 2020 - Oregon's Cap and Trade Bill

HB 2020 presented a unique opportunity to advance state climate policy while strengthening Oregon’s economy, but ultimately failed to pass in the 2019 legislative session. The bill offered a market-driven framework that linked to other jurisdictions, and enabled regulated businesses to manage their emission reduction targets  in a way that offered them flexibility on how they met the cap for their business. As it has in other jurisdictions, a Cap and Trade program in Oregon would have encouraged business innovation, investment, and job creation.

Oregon Business for Climate will continue to work with lawmakers and other key stakeholders to ensure that the language of subsequent iterations of the bill are as well defined as possible, remembering that two of our core principles are to ensure we meet our carbon reduction goals and can successfully link to the Western Climate Initiative. Click here to read the full text of the bill.

What Is Cap and Trade?

Visual description of cap and invest policy program

Cap and Trade is a market-based approach to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that first originated as a way to address acid rain under the Clean Air Act of 1990. It utilizes an economy-wide cap on emissions sources to offer a flexible mechanism at the lowest cost for reducing GHG emissions. Currently, 9 states in the Northeast U.S. Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and California have cap and trade policies in place.

In Oregon, establishing a statewide carbon pricing mechanism is not a new idea. In fact, it's been discussed and studied at the legislative level for the past decade.

In 2018, a Cap and Trade proposal was introduced in the Oregon State Legislature that proposed Oregon joining the Western Climate Initiative trading market and linking to California and Quebec existing Cap and Trade programs.

The bill sought to establish a limit on the amount of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions from companies that emit 25,000 tons or more of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) 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 state Carbon Policy Office with the objective of continuing to move the policy forward in preparation for the 2019 Legislative Session. 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 a detailed carbon sequestration study of Oregon's forest lands.

Cap and Trade was a top legislative priority in 2019, but HB 2020 did not pass during the legislative session. We are committed to working with our lawmakers and others on future Cap and Trade legislation to ensure that Oregon's system is good for Oregonians, the environment and the economy.

Go to our Resources Page for additional links and information HERE