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Low-Income Advocates Support Whitehouse on Climate ChangeSalem-News.com
The OCPP says that without adequate protections such as those proposed by the Whitehouse amendment, carbon emissions controls could increase the hardship faced by low-income families,
(SILVERTON, Ore.) - Legislation proposed by Rhode Island U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse capping carbon emissions can protect low-income Oregonians while fighting global warming, advocates told Oregon's U.S. Senators Gordon Smith and Ron Wyden Thursday in a letter presented prior to a vote on the issue.
The letter from the Oregon Center for Public Policy urged the Oregon senators to support the Whitehouse amendment to the Climate Security Act of 2008. Also known as Lieberman-Warner, the Climate Security Act would cap carbon emissions.
"The Whitehouse amendment offers more efficient and effective protection for low-income families, while moving forward the fight against global warming," wrote Charles Sheketoff, executive director of the Silverton-based think tank.
Absent adequate protections such as those proposed by the Whitehouse amendment, carbon emissions controls could increase the hardship faced by low-income families, said Sheketoff. He noted that these families typically lack the means to invest in energy conservation measures and energy efficient and cleaner technologies and that higher gasoline, food and other costs that will rise under a carbon cap take a bigger bite out of their incomes, compared to higher-income consumers.
Although the current version of Lieberman-Warner provides some protection for low-income families, it does not go far enough and does not target or distribute the aid as effectively as the Whitehouse amendment, said Sheketoff.
"Contrary to the claims of some opponents of capping carbon emissions, the Climate Security Act does not necessarily have to hurt low-income families," he said. "An effectively designed measure, such as that proposed by Senator Whitehouse, can fully protect low-income families from additional hardship."
The Oregon Center for Public Policy is a non-partisan research institute that does in-depth research and analysis on budget, tax, and economic issues. The Center's goal is to improve decision making and generate more opportunities for all Oregonians.
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