In 1997, Oregon passed the nation’s first law (House Bill 3283) regulating and attempting to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The law set up a carbon dioxide emission standard was established by HB 3283 which applies to baseload gas plants, non-baseload (peaking) power plants using any type of fossil fuel, and non-generating facilities that emit carbon dioxide.
The law is also “interesting” in that it sets up an emission standard that can never be met. The emission rate is set at 17% below the “cleanest” known plant in the country, and it is periodically adjusted to remain 17% below the state-of-the-art plant. Therefore, a regulated facility cannot ever comply with the standard, no matter how emission-efficient the facility’s processes are.
Not many Oregonians have heard of the bill or are aware of the millions that the law has taken from energy facility developers and thus ratepayers in the past 14 years.
Currently, there is only one organization, The Climate Trust, which receives the carbon “tax” monies. The Climate Trust pays for carbon offset projects all across the world with the revenue they receive from this scheme.
To learn more about The Climate Trust and their operations check out this link:
In 2009, Cascade Policy Institute completed a full audit on The Climate Trust and found that there are numerous problems that undermine the quality and effectiveness of the offset projects.