On Thursday, June 27th, hundreds of truckers arrived in Oregon’s capital city of Salem. This was to make a point against Oregon’s House Bill 2020 otherwise known as the cap-and-trade bill. This was a bill to regulate carbon emissions. Just the week prior, several Senators had fled the state to avoid voting on this bill. The Governor had sent the Oregon State Police to try to force them back but was unable to do so.
This bill was estimated to create a large increase in fuel prices and limit the amount of logging done in the state. It proposes to cut emissions allowed within the state. Businesses may then continue with current levels of emissions for a price. It is likely that this cost will be transferred to the public.
A lot of businesses are willing to do what they can for the environment. This bill doesn’t allow for the cost to justify the means. Oregon is not a state that produces a lot of emissions. The way it is written, it won’t change much for the environment but would create large expenses for both businesses and residents. Fines would be imposed on industries without having alternative choices. It would increase gas taxes over $.15 per gallon leaving Oregon as one of the most expensive gas prices in the country.
It is estimated that there were at least 300 trucks and thousands of people that participated in the rally on Thursday. This included many from the trucking, logging, farming, ranching and other industries. Many believe this will not just dramatically affect the cost of business but would likely cost many jobs.
It was good to see a united front from the trucking industry. In Oregon, it tends to be Portland and Salem versus the rest of the state. The priorities vary between big city and rural areas. There were reports of trucks on the I-5 towards Salem running for 13 miles long. This bill would devastate many trucking companies to the point of decisions having to be made if they can stay in business. The impact of the environment would be very minimal, but the economic effect would be great.
The bill was very controversial and, due to lack of anticipated votes by both parties, was declared dead on June 28th.