Oregon close to finalizing cap-and-trade bill

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon lawmakers are charting a new course on a controversial cap-and-trade bill regulating greenhouse emissions.

Co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction on Monday proposed new changes responding to opposition from businesses and agriculture groups who say that the state’s carbon pricing plan could put them out of work and harm low-income workers.

One of the proposed changes include refunding any additional gas costs associated with the legislation to those making less than the median household income.

If passed, Oregon would become the second state in the country after California to implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program. Under the bill, the state would place an overall limit on emissions and then sell a set number of pollution permits or “allowances” to the highest bidder.