Why Cap-and-Trade Can’t Be “Tweaked”

By Eric Fruits, Ph.D.

Oregon is less than three months away from the next meeting of the Legislature and cap-and-trade is coming back.

While California is setting the cap-and-trade example with sky-high power rates and rolling blackouts, Oregon’s State Senator Michael Dembrow is reworking the bill that failed to get enough Democratic votes earlier this year.

Last summer’s attempt at imposing cap-and-trade gave rise to the Timber Unity movement, who descended on the capitol with hundreds of log trucks and whose Facebook group has more than 53,000 members.

The latest tweaks are aimed at bringing skeptical Democrats on board and stifling Republican dissent.

But, here’s the thing…. Cap-and-trade can’t be tweaked. The proposal is fundamentally flawed. It’s all pain and no gain. In fact, the only way cap-and-trade “works” is if the pain is bigger than the gain.

The state itself estimates gas prices will increase by more than 20 cents a gallon in the first year alone, which would give Oregon the third highest prices in the country—below California and Hawaii. No amount of tweaking will make that go away.

Put simply, cap-and-trade won’t work in Oregon. And no amount of reworking will make it work. Our legislators can avoid log trucks rolling through Salem and rolling blackouts throughout the state by shelving their plans for cap-and-trade.

Eric Fruits, Ph.D. is Vice President of Research at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.

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Comments 3

  1. Avatar for Todd Olson

    Todd Olson

    12:41 pm - November 6, 2019

    I’m happy someone see’s this. Now please help kill the whole damn idea. I don’t want my Oregon ruined any more than it already is. I want my kids and grand kids to be able to live and experience the cool things Oregon has just as I have.

  2. Avatar for Anthony Pokorny

    Anthony Pokorny

    1:45 pm - November 6, 2019

    Cap and Trade is not about doing what it says by the Democrats to saving the world. It’s all about raising and adding additional taxes, suppress trade with a cap, and put Oregon into a recession while environmental concerns are neglected even further. There’s only job lose and more homelessness to come with this. Further, anything about solar panels and electric cars only add more of the carbon footprint more on top than anything.

  3. Avatar for Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)

    Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)

    3:25 pm - November 8, 2019

    Dear Dr. Fruits,

    ‘Cap and Trade,’ better known as a Carbon Tax is also flawed from a scientific standpoint. If there were a problem with human emissions of carbon dioxide, Oregon would be sooo small a part of the problem that no amount of our sacrifice would make any measurable difference.

    While we are closing our only coal-fired power plant in Boardman and thereby foregoing a great deal of inexpensive electricity, the Chinese are building hundreds of coal plants at home and throughout the Third World. We are lucky that we do not have a problem with carbon dioxide, because no one beyond the climate fanatics is taking the issue seriously.

    Our emissions of CO2 are inherently beneficial, because carbon dioxide is the Gas of Life. More in the atmosphere has noticeably greened the Earth, according to NASA satellites. And global temperatures over the period of significant human emissions since the end of World War Two have only increased slightly in two of the seven decades since. That is FAR DIFFERENT from what alarmists have predicted. Their Climate Models are great failures.

    The bottom line is that Catastrophic Global Warming is BS (Bad Science).

    Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)
    Corbett, Oregon USA

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