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Feb-12-2008 11:24printcomments

OBA Supports Tracking Greenhouse Gases

HB 3610 would require agencies to evaluate the costs and benefits of reducing the gases that cause global warming to determine the impact on Oregon’s economy.

Toyota Prius Hybrid
Toyota Prius Hybrid
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(SALEM, Ore.) - Good policy relies on good information. That’s the concept behind a bill before the Oregon House this week. Oregon Business Association has been working with Rep. Jackie Dingfelder on House Bill 3610. She plans to hold two hearings on the bill in the House Energy and the Environment Committee.

House Bill 3610 would clarify that the Environmental Quality Commission has the authority to gather more specific information on exactly how much greenhouse gas is emitted in Oregon, or in connection with Oregon’s energy consumption. The agency already collects some data.

But this bill would fill major holes in that system. It would not only apply to emissions sources in Oregon, but also to emissions from power generated out of state and imported for Oregon use.

A more complete greenhouse picture would allow Oregon to design more efficient and cost-effective reduction strategies. It means reduction requirements will be more fairly distributed among all emissions sources.

At the same time, being at the forefront of sustainability policies give Oregon companies a leg up in global competition.

The bill also directs state agencies to focus their efforts on developing a plan to reduce greenhouse gases to comply with Oregon’s 2007 global warming policy.

HB 3610 would require agencies to evaluate the costs and benefits of reducing the gases that cause global warming to determine the impact on Oregon’s economy. All that information would go to the Oregon Global Warming Commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor.

Support for realistic solutions to climate change is growing around the region and nationwide. A movement known as the Western Climate Initiative has the backing of seven western governors, including Oregon’s Ted Kulongoski, Washington’s Chris Gregoire, California's Arnold Schwarzenegger, and two Canadian provincial premiers.

This summer, the WCI will offer a plan for carbon reductions that would reach every aspect of the regional economy. Whatever policies they adopt will rely heavily on knowing what is being emitted and by whom. Oregon already has a Pesticide Use Reporting System. House Bill 3610 is the same idea, but designed to protect our atmosphere.

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Anonymous February 12, 2008 1:51 pm (Pacific time)

Somebody's been smoking way too much crack. My brother drives a Prius and he was one of the early buyers. He says he has never enjoyed a car so much and nothing has come close economically. People, remember BS when you see it and smell it. A Hummer better than a Prius? Better luck next time.

Wake Up People February 12, 2008 1:16 pm (Pacific time)

Interesting that the Toyota Prius was used as a picture. A research study based in Portland recently proved that the GM Hummer H3 is better off for the environment than the ugly Prius. Either way the Prius is a huge rip-off, ugly and way over-priced. Maybe we should be looking at some real issues. Like posing the question why Russia is flying bombers over Alaska and our aircraft carriers.

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