Spurred by President Trump’s announcement that the United States will abandon commitments President Obama made in the Paris Climate Agreement, western seaboard elected officials are highly motivated to act on climate change, notwithstanding the Trump Administration’s actions to replace the Clean Power Plan. California has a well-established and functioning “cap and trade” program that has survived judicial challenge and been extended through 2030. As the fifth largest economy in the world, California’s efforts are a significant driver for similar programs throughout the nation.
In the 2018 legislative sessions, Oregon and Washington took up very different carbon reduction programs, neither of which passed by the close of what were for both states’ short legislative sessions. However, this summer, in both Oregon and Washington, the groundwork is being laid to enact sweeping new greenhouse gas (GHG) legislation. In Oregon, a task force is on track to propose comprehensive “cap and invest” legislation in the 2019 session — legislation that will likely coordinate with California’s carbon market. In Washington, a citizen ballot initiative effort is set to go to the voters this fall, aimed at enacting the nation’s most rigorous carbon tax program.
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