Ballot measures could let voters act on climate change

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — If lawmakers again fail to pass a law regulating Oregon’s greenhouse gas emissions next year, voters could be called on to do it.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reports three initiative petitions filed with the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office Monday would require the state to phase out electricity sources that contribute to global warming, and transition to a carbon-free economy by 2050.

If they proceed to the November 2020 ballot, the measures would likely usher in a bruising ballot fight. But one of the organizations spearheading the efforts, clean energy coalition Renew Oregon, is hoping the measures instead add urgency to next year’s legislative session.

The carbon cap bill has been in the works for over a decade, and was the focus of a tussle in the Legislature this year. The proposal flamed out amid a walkout by Senate Republicans and disunity in Democratic ranks.

Gov. Kate Brown and legislative leaders have vowed to keep trying to pass a similar proposal.