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Opponents of the greenhouse gas reduction legislation presented Brown and the Senate with alternatives to shrink carbon emissions.

PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Opponents of legislation to cap the amount of carbon produced in Oregon — in an effort to reduce climate change — have made a counter proposal to Gov. Kate Brown.

An Oregon activist group that opposes a state plan to clamp down on greenhouse gas emissions presented Gov. Kate Brown Thursday, Feb. 6, with its own ideas of how to cut emissions.

Lawmakers are considering a proposal to limit and shrink the state's greenhouse gas emissions. The bill would setup a marketplace for companies to buy and sell allowance, essentially permits to emit greenhouse gases.

PMG/EO MEDIA/SRTimber Unity wants the state to plant trees along roads to act as carbon sinks and wants state government agencies to buy goods and services locally to reduce their carbon footprint. It also wants Oregon to boost its recycling infrastructure and allow businesses to write off more quickly the costs of upgrading to greener technology.

PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Former state Rep. Julie Parrish of West Linn was one of the speakers during the Feb. 6 Timber Unity rally in Salem. Parrish said a meeting with Gov. Kate Brown was cordial. Both sides discussed ways to reduce carbon acros the state.

The four-point plan was pitched to Brown and two staff members when they met with business owners associated with Timber Unity for about 45 minutes, according to the governor's spokeswoman, Kate Kondayen. The meeting occurred against the din of speeches and truck horns outside the Capitol.

Of those representing Timber Unity was former state Rep. Julie Parrish, whose former district included West Linn and Tualatin. According to Parrish, the meeting was genial.

"The conversation was exclusively on climate policy," Kondayen wrote in response to written questions from the Oregon Capital Bureau, a news partner of the Portland Tribune. "The governor shared what she had heard from her previous conversations with them and others: that protecting rural jobs and communities was critical, and the governor agrees with that. She described in detail the changes that were made to SB 1530 to accommodate that concern."

Kondayen said the governor was reviewing Timber Unity's proposals.

Mike Pihl, president of the Timber Unity Association, said that the group doesn't want the pending legislation to carry an "emergency clause," legal craftsmanship which makes a new law go into effect immediately and forestalls a referral to voters.

Proponents say the legislation could still go through the initiative process to move to the ballot, but allows the state to start laying the groundwork to get the program started on time. Sen. Michael Dembrow, D-Portland, a lead architect of the greenhouse gas bill, said he and Timber Unity are "very aligned" on the notion of planting trees in the roadway, and have a shared interest in urban forestry and using urban trees for lumber.

Sen. Michael Dembrow

Party: Democrat Dembrow

District: 23

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1723

Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-407, Salem, OR 97301

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Website

"I'd have to look at the specific proposals in detail, but I think they're a distraction from the larger issue," Dembrow said. "I think the argument ... (they're) trying to make is that we shouldn't be doing broad climate action, we should be focusing on these things as alternatives. I don't see these as being mutually exclusive by any means. This greenhouse gas initiative is a platform and umbrella that's going to be joined by a number of complementary programs."PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - While the meeting between cap-and-trade opponents and Gov. Kate Brown was described as "genial," animosity toward Brown was evident at last week's rally in Salem. Brown ran for re-election largely on a promise to reduce the state's carbon footprint.

Parrish said that while Brown didn't commit to making any changes in the cap-and-trade policy being proposed, she thanked them for presenting solutions. "We're going to continue to try to push on the belief that you can address carbon without taxation," Parrish said. "The bottom line, at the end of our meeting, we asked, do you want to raise revenue, or do you want to fix carbon? If you want to raise revenue, we're going to have a problem. If you want to fix carbon and hear these solutions, we'll come to the table with you to address them."

Parrish and other supporters of Timber Unity feel that mechanism for regulating fuel importers is effectively taxes all Oregonians.

PMGWhere do you stand on the proposed legislation to cut the state's carbon emissions? Send a letter to the editor to the Tribune today.


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