Carbon Cap and Dividend (priority legislation)
SB 965 and HB 3250 in the 2015 Legislature
These bills require vendors of fossil fuels to surrender permits for pollution to the state for each equivalent ton of carbon dioxide in the fuel or energy that they sell. Permits will be auctioned by the state, and the revenue from their sale will be held in a public trust and will not be available for general appropriations. Every September, the balance of the fund will be distributed evenly among Oregon tax payers and tax payer dependent by mail. One need not make income to receive an equal portion of the funds. For the majority of Oregonians, these ‘dividend’ payments will exceed any increase in energy prices they face as a consequence of the new permitting requirements.
The number of allowances sold at auction will decrease steadily, such that Oregon’s carbon footprint drops 85% below 1990 levels by 2050. These emission reductions meet scientific targets for the reductions we need to avert the most catastrophic impacts of climate change.
Sponsors of Cap and Dividend are listed here.
Carbon Fee and Dividend
HB 3176 in the 2015 Legislature
Beginning in 2016, all vendors of fossil fuels and vendors of electricity generated by fossil fuels will pay a fee of $30/ton of carbon dioxide equivalent. The fee will automatically rise by $10/ton, adjusted for inflation, every year throughout the century. By the middle of the next decade, these fees would be passed on to consumers almost entirely, causing gas prices to rise by about 9 cents per year. All revenue from these fees will be held in a public trust and will not be available to the state for general appropriations. Every September, the balance of the fund will be distributed evenly among Oregon tax payers and tax payer dependent by mail. The check size is estimated to start at $500 per Oregonian per year and increase steadily to $1500 per Oregonian per year. For the majority of Oregonians, these ‘dividend’ payments will exceed any increase in energy prices they face as a consequence of the fee.
Carbon Cap and Allocation
HB 3470 in the 2015 Legislature
HB 3470 sets a cap on Oregon's CO2 Equivalent emissions, matching the IPCC-suggested goals to avoid catastrophic climate change by Oregon's legislature a few years ago. Just like the Cap and Dividend bills, HB 3470 mandates that the cap be enforced via tradeable commodities, purchased by major fossil fuel energy consumers in Oregon. HB 3470 differs from a Cap and Dividend bill in that it does not address the question of revenue that may be generated by pricing carbon, adhering instead to California's AB32 model. The bill does not prescribe use of revenue or even specify that there will be revenue. HB 3470 gives those decisions to an executive agency instead. As with AB32, discussions about revenue use under this model are likely to be a long negotiation involving hundreds of agencies, interests, and companies. In HB 3470, all implementation decisions reside with the DEQ, with advice from designated advisory commissions, the public and legislative committees.