To read the full article from Dr. John Talberth, President and Senior Economist at the Center for Sustainable Economy, click here. Below is Dr. Talberth’s intro:
Extractive industries have proven adept at generating record profits, then using those same profits to protect themselves from any responsibility for cleaning up the mess they leave behind. Oregon’s timber industry is a case in point: it is the number one source of greenhouse gas emissions in the state, the biggest threat to clean drinking water supplies, and the biggest source of wildfire risk as climate change unfolds. Yet, as Oregon’s “Clean Energy Jobs” bill (HB 2020) moves out of the House and heads to the Senate, the timber industry has not only shielded itself from any restrictions, it is now being rewarded with new subsidies to add to the several hundred million dollars a year it already receives.
On June 13, 2019, the timber industry secured a late stage amendment to HB 2020, introduced by Senate President Peter Courtney (D-District 11), that ensures “wood products manufacturing facilities” do not suffer any “permanent or temporary” reductions in the “supply of wood fiber” in the carbon offsets protocols of HB 2020. This amendment is a supply side subsidy that will keep log prices down and wood to mills flowing at roughly the same pace as now. Any reductions in logging associated with forest carbon offsets would have to be made up for by increased logging elsewhere. In the technical language of offset markets, this phenomenon is called “leakage,” and is a basis for invalidating any offset proposals that do not actually result in less logging.
Slowing down the pace of clearcutting to let forests grow longer and their soils mature so they can soak up more carbon, scientists say, is one of the most important natural climate solutions we have at our immediate disposal. Yet Courtney’s amendment does the opposite: It will make our forest offsets program even worse and more ineffective than California’s.
SALEM — A “possible militia threat” is shutting down the Oregon statehouse amid an ongoing walkout by Republican lawmakers who are blocking a vote on landmark climate change legislation with their absence.
A spokeswoman for the Senate President confirmed late Friday that the “Oregon State Police has recommended that the Capitol be closed tomorrow due to a possible militia threat.”
Gov. Kate Brown has deployed the state police to round up Republican senators who fled the Legislature — and in some cases, the state — to thwart passage of a climate proposal that would dramatically lower fossil fuel emissions by 2050.
Right-wing militia groups said they would protest at the Capitol on Saturday as lawmakers convened.
It’s unclear if the “militia threat” was related to the protest or is something additional.