The Democrats maintain a supermajority in both houses of the Oregon Legislature. That’s why lawmakers from both parties concede that a cap and trade bill will pass this session.
Sen. Bill Hansell (R-Athena) says the Republicans are now concentrating on making it a measure that would do the least harm to rural Oregonians. He’s putting his faith in the persuasive power of the senator from Ontario.
“A key person on that committee that both sides of the aisle have reached out to is Cliff Bentz,” Hansell said. “He’s a very astute thinker and policymaker.”
Bentz was a long-time member of the Oregon House and Representatives. Then, he was named to the Senate seat that was vacated by the retirement of then-Minority Leader Ted Ferrioli of John Day.
“I trust that his (Bentz’s) input will be very helpful in crafting a bill that would be a lot better than if he weren’t involved in it,” Hansell said.
Cap and trade legislation would establish a limit on carbon emissions that would go into effect in 2021. That limit would continue to lower over a 30-year period. Bentz and Hansell have said that the measure will not have a significant impact on global warming and will drive up the price of gasoline.