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Cap and trade returns with a twist

SALEM, Oregon – A bill that would increase the price of gas to encourage use of alternative fuels will once again make its way through the Oregon Legislature when the 2020 session begins next month. There is a difference. This new version of House Bill 2020 would start off in the Portland area only.

“For the first three years of the program, the carbon price will only apply within zip codes within the Portland metropolitan planning area,” Senior Deputy Legislative Counsel Maureen McGee said.

McGee, who wrote the bill, said that most of the revenue that would come in would go to the city or cities that are participating.

“Ninety percent of all of the highway dedicated money must be expended to serve areas where the motor vehicle fuel being delivered in that area is subject to the carbon price,” she said.

Republican senators walked out last June to deny a quorum on a vote on House Bill 2020. One of the major complaints was that the measure gave no thought to the added hardship the measure would place on rural areas.

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