The Oregon Farm Bureau is disappointed in the decision of the Environmental Quality Commission to circumvent the Legislature to adopt a “cap and trade” program by rule. The so-called “Climate Protection Program” will devastate Oregon’s farmers and ranchers, raising the costs for the fuels, propane, and natural gas our rural communities rely on to produce food and fiber as part of a global food system.
While the rules will have an imperceptible impact on global climate change, the impact on Oregon’s rural communities will be real and hard felt. Oregon’s farmers and ranchers compete in a global marketplace, and a decrease in farm viability will only increase global emissions, as Oregon transitions our agricultural production to other states and countries.
Not only do these rules exceed the agency’s authority, they were developed through a rules advisory committee that was hand-selected by the Department of Environmental Quality to allow advocate’s voices to dominate the conversation, and with time-limited hearings designed to avoid real discussion of the impacts of the rules. Instead, the department modeled scenarios that discounted the real impacts the new program will have on consumers.
The Oregon Farm Bureau will be pursuing a legal challenge to the rules and hopes that voters do not forget this abuse of power when they see their home heating costs and fuel pump prices continue to skyrocket while their income stagnates.