Truckers, loggers push back on Oregon’s climate proposals

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Dozens of industrial trucks drove laps around the state Capitol to protest two Oregon climate bills truckers say will put them out of business.

Wednesday’s protest came as a key legislative panel signed off on a proposed cap and trade program to reduce the greenhouse gases behind climate change. Lawmakers will vote on the bill later this month.

Gregg Budge owns his own trucking company in Vernonia, around 40 miles northwest of Portland. He says that cap and trade plus another bill aimed at phasing out old diesel engines will raise prices to the point that he can’t do business.

But some labor unions have come out in favor of cap and trade saying that the bill has strong labor protections and even provides unemployment benefits for workers laid off in response to this legislation.

Lawmakers only have until the end of June to approve both cap and trade and diesel regulations.