Oregon House approves progressive climate policy

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon House has approved an economywide cap-and trade-program.

The program would put an overall limit on greenhouse gas emissions and auction off pollution “allowances” for each ton of carbon industries plan to emit. Only the state’s largest polluters would be targeted.

Lawmakers voted 36-24 late Monday night after nearly six hours of debate, sending it to the Senate.

The Statehouse’s minority Republicans blasted the plan, saying it would raise gas prices and cause businesses to move. They also say it would hurt rural economies that depend on the industries targeted under the legislation.

Rep. Karin Power is one of the Democrats behind the bill. She says the state is behind on its emission reduction goals and must take dramatic action to respond to climate change.

Gov. Kate Brown has said she would sign the bill.