SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon is on the precipice of becoming the second state after California to adopt a cap-and-trade program, a market-based approach to lowering the greenhouse gas emissions behind global warming.
Supporters call it the United States’ most progressive climate policy. They say it not only cuts emissions but invests in transitioning the state economy and infrastructure to better prepare for more intense weather events as climate change worsens.
Under a cap-and-trade program, the state puts an overall limit on emissions and auctions off pollution permits or “allowances” for each ton of carbon industries plan to emit. Only the largest polluters are targeted.
The state aims to reduce emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.
Detractors complain that Oregon’s program offers concessions to nearly every industry to dampen the potential financial impact.