OCA expresses Qualified Support for the Climate Commitment Act

OCA has expressed qualified support for E2SSB 5126, the Climate Commitment Act with a letter to our state legislators Rep. Steve Tharinger and Rep. Mike Chapman, and U.S. Senator Kevin Van de Wege

Update late Friday night: Rep. Steve Tharinger and Rep. Mike Chapman voted yea to pass the measure.

A river scene with trees and mountain behind.

This historic bill would guarantee that net greenhouse gas emissions from across the state are slashed in line with Washington’s ambitious climate mitigation targets. By placing a price on carbon, it would generate resources and catalyze innovation to create investments in community resilience, green jobs, sustainable transportation, and clean energy.

Our support is qualified because, having said the above, we believe that the current forestry provisions of the bill are seriously flawed and counterproductive, and should be stricken. These provisions echo the bad science at the heart of E2SHB 2528 (2020), which claim the timber industry to be a major source of carbon sequestration.

E2SSB 5126 would allow dirty industries to keep polluting if they purchase credits from the timber industry to increase logging in the name of carbon sequestration. This would be a travesty. An independent study by Oregon State University found that Oregon’s timber sector is the worst carbon-emitting sector of that state’s economy — worse than that state’s entire transportation sector.