Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Healthy Climate rally Tomorrow at Noon

There's not much in the way of Salem news today, but there is some Legislative news of Statewide significance.

Tomorrow there will be a rally at noon for House Bill 4068 and Senate Bill 1574, the so-called "Healthy Climate Bill" (I believe the bills are identical, one for each chamber).

A couple of highlights from the Legislative summary of the bill:
  • Requires Environmental Quality Commission to adopt carbon pollution market by rule
  • Establishes Climate Investments Account within State Highway Fund. Requires that certain auction proceeds be deposited in account for purpose of funding programs consistent with legislative purposes of carbon pollution market
A "Climate Investments Account" in the State Highway Fund might be a good source for investing in better biking on our roads!

And carbon markets are almost certainly better at tapping the "wisdom of the crowd" and allocating resources efficiently than State bureaucracies trying to pick winners and losers via things like the BETC program. Adam Smith for the win here: market discipline + carbon reduction. What's not to like?

(The Oregonian has more on a comparison with a competing bill that was hammered out with the power companies. But it's more of a regulatory approach than a market-based approach, and that is probably less flexible and less powerful. The Oregon Environmental Council also has an explainer on the markets bill. Even if you quibble on the details, there's no harm in rallying for "yay carbon reduction" in general. It's urgent that we intensify our efforts. But if you're reading here, you know that.)

Check it out and consider moseying over on your lunch break.

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