Hundreds of blue-collar workers assembled at the Oregon state capitol Thursday, protesting a climate change bill they believe would cripple their respective industries.
Farmers, loggers, ranchers and truckers rallied in Salem to protest HB2020, a cap & trade bill which they fear would cut jobs and increase fuel prices.
The bill was first challenged earlier this month by Republican lawmakers, who defied the state’s Democrat Governor Kate Brown by walking out in protest and refusing to show up for a vote.
“We want to show Oregon State legislators that we are standing with the Senators who walked out and opposed HB 2020,” reads a Facebook post organizing the rally.
One logger, Jon Golly, told local news he was thankful Republicans staged the walk out:
“We want to support the 11 senators who took the courageous step to shut this thing down and give people time to think. This bill affects everyone. It’s not just the timber industry. The price of goods and services all go up when you start raising the price of fuel.”
According to the Facebook post, the group is concerned that “Cap-and-trade would give unelected bureaucrats unprecedented power over key segments of Oregon’s economy and provide little to no accountability for the millions of dollars raised by the program.”
Video from the rally showed hundreds of semi-trucks lined up along Salem streets with a massive crowd gathered outside the capitol building.
The rally took place despite expectations HB2020 seems doomed to fail, with the Senate president expressing Tuesday Democrats don’t have the votes.
“Even though on Tuesday the Senate President announced HB 2020 was dead, nothing is certain until the end of session Saturday,” the rallying Facebook post reads.
Fox 12 Oregon reports that since Gov. Brown ordered state police to locate the missing senators and bring them back to the floor for a vote, they are incurring fines each day they are absent:
“Because of that, they are still being fined $500 each day they are absent. So far, together, they’ve racked up more than $13,000 in fines.”
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Mills signs bill to launch a Maine Climate Council
Mills also signed her bill to launch a Maine Climate Council, whose membership will include representatives of energy and environmental groups, tasked with creating a new Climate Action Plan to detail how Maine will take on climate change. The new Office for Policy Innovation & the Future will come up with ways for state government to boost clean energy.
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