Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Oregon Republicans Flee Climate Bill, Police Follow

Politics
Oregon Republicans Flee Climate Bill, Police Follow
Oregon state capitol. Tashka / iStock / Getty Images

Oregon republicans fled their state rather than do anything to stop the climate crisis. The state republicans abrogated their duties as elected officials and ran away since they don't have the votes to stop a landmark bill that would make Oregon the second state to adopt a cap-and-trade program to curb greenhouse gas emissions, as Vice News reported.


Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, a democrat, who will sign the bill into law once it is passed, ordered the state police to apprehend the Republican lawmakers who fled the Capitol. Although Oregon State Police can force any senators they find into a patrol car and bring them back to the Capitol, the police intend to use polite communication and patience rather than force, the agency said in a statement, according the AP.

In addition to the threat of police action, the senate Republicans will start facing a $500 fine for everyday they refuse to attend to state business starting Friday.

"The Senate Republicans have decided to abandon their duty to serve their constituents and walk out," Gov. Brown said in a statement on Thursday, as The Hill reported. "The Senate Democrats have requested the assistance of the Oregon State Police to bring back their colleagues to finish the work they committed to push forward for Oregonians." She added that it "is absolutely unacceptable that the Senate Republicans would turn their back on their constituents who they are honor-bound to represent here in this building."

The rhetoric around the walk out has heated up as a Republican state senator made an ominously threatening statement to police.

"Send bachelors and come heavily armed," said Republican state senator, Brian Boquist, to the superintendent of the Oregon State Police, as the New York Times reported. "I'm not going to be a political prisoner in the state of Oregon. It's just that simple."

Under the proposed measure, Oregon would cap greenhouse gas emissions and auction off pollution allowances for every ton of carbon industries plan to emit. The limit will then lower gradually to wean businesses off of fossil fuels: Under the legislation, the state would reduce emissions to 45 percent below 1990 levels by 2035, and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, according to the AP.

Democrats claim the law will both lower emissions and drive investment toward low-income and rural communities that need to adapt to the climate crisis. The measure has the support of environmental groups, farmworkers and some trade unions, according to the AP.

The Republicans are demanding a state referendum for the voters to decide, while Democrats want to take action. When the negotiations fell to pieces, the Republicans walked out so the legislature does not have enough lawmakers present to call a vote, according to Vice News.

This is the second time in six weeks that Oregon Republicans have stopped Senate business with a walkout. Last month, Republicans walked out to block a school funding tax package. That standoff lasted four days, until the governor granted concessions by agreeing to table legislation on gun control and vaccine requirements, as the AP reported.

A crowd of climate activists march behind a banner in NYC during Climate Week on September 20, 2020. Erik McGregor / LightRocket / Getty Images

By Breanna Draxler

After decades on the political periphery, the climate movement is entering the mainstream in 2020, with young leaders at the fore. The Sunrise Movement now includes more than 400 local groups educating and advocating for political action on climate change. Countless students around the world have clearly communicated what's at stake for their futures, notably Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who just finished her yearlong school strike for climate. Youth activists have been praised for their flexible, big-picture thinking and ability to harness social media to deliver political wins, as Sunrise recently did for U.S. Sen. Ed Markey's primary campaign. They necessarily challenge the status quo.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Presidential nominee Joe Biden has not taken a stance on gas exports, including liquefied natural gas. Ken Hodge / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0

By Simon Montlake

For more than a decade, Susan Jane Brown has been battling to stop a natural gas pipeline and export terminal from being built in the backcountry of Oregon. As an attorney at the nonprofit Western Environmental Law Center, she has repeatedly argued that the project's environmental, social, and health costs are too high.

All that was before this month's deadly wildfires in Oregon shrouded the skies above her home office in Portland. "It puts a fine point on it. These fossil fuel projects are contributing to global climate change," she says.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Eating lots of fruits and vegetables will boost the immune system. Stevens Fremont / The Image Bank / Getty Images

By Grayson Jaggers

The connection between the pandemic and our dietary habits is undeniable. The stress of isolation coupled with a struggling economy has caused many of us to seek comfort with our old friends: Big Mac, Tom Collins, Ben and Jerry. But overindulging in this kind of food and drink might not just be affecting your waistline, but could potentially put you at greater risk of illness by hindering your immune system.

Read More Show Less
A graphic shows how Rhoel Dinglasan's smartphone-based saliva test works. University of Florida

As the world continues to navigate the line between reopening and maintaining safety protocols to slow the spread of the coronavirus, rapid and accurate diagnostic screening remains critical to control the outbreak. New mobile-phone-based, self-administered COVID-19 tests being developed independently around the world could be a key breakthrough in making testing more widely available, especially in developing nations.

Read More Show Less
A meteorologist monitors weather in NOAA's Center for Weather and Climate Prediction on July 2, 2013 in Riverdale, Maryland. Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The Trump White House is now set to appoint two climate deniers to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in one month.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch