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Feb-12-2008 11:24TweetFollow @OregonNews
OBA Supports Tracking Greenhouse GasesSalem-News.com Business Report
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.
(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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