By Associated Press • 

Dem leader confirms climate bill lacks support

SALEM —  The Latest on a walkout by Oregon Senate Republicans to protest legislation to address climate change.

Updated 1:45 p.m. 

Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick confirms that the landmark climate bill that sparked a walkout by Republicans is likely dead for this legislative session.

Burdick told reporters Tuesday that there isn't enough support within the Democratic party to pass what would be the second statewide cap and trade plan in the nation.

All eleven Republican senators didn't appear for a sixth day to protest the proposed cap on carbon emissions. Burdick says the announcement doesn't mean Democrats are “rewarding bad behavior.”

Burdick says that it was her sense that “the votes were never there” even before the Republican walkout.

The Senate would still vote on the measure if Republicans returned. Burdick says it would likely be a procedural vote to send the proposal back to committee.


Updated 6/25 10:42 a.m.

The Oregon Senate President says there aren't enough votes within his own majority Democratic caucus to approve a landmark climate bill that sparked a walkout by Republicans, who fled to other states to thwart the measure.

Democratic Senate President Peter Courtney said Tuesday there isn't enough support within his party to pass what would be the second statewide cap and trade plan in the nation.

All eleven Republican senators didn't appear for a sixth day to protest the proposed cap on carbon emissions. Courtney pleaded with them to return, saying the Senate still needs to approve budget bills and policies addressing foster care and mental health.

Courtney says he has “done as much as I can” to negotiate with Republicans and he will continue to push for the cap and trade policy.



Updated 12:09 p.m.

GOP Senators will each be hit with a $500 fine for fleeing the capitol and blocking a vote on proposed climate legislation.

Republican Sen. Tim Knopp says Friday conservatives plan to file a lawsuit in protest over the fine.

Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick says that the fine is written into statute. She adds that Republicans are holding up portions of the budget in addition to the climate bill.

Republicans will continue to be fined at $500 a day for each day they're away from the Capitol.

Knopp says conservatives are prepared to stay away for as long as it takes. A GoFundMe to cover senators’ expenses and fines has raised more than $4,000.


Updated 9:23 a.m.

Republicans in the Oregon Senate were absent for a second day to delay a vote on a sweeping climate policy.

None of the 11 GOP Senators appeared Friday morning. They have until 11 a.m. to show if they want to avoid a $500 fine.

Gov. Kate Brown has deployed the state police to round up Republican senators who fled the Legislature — and in some cases, the state — to thwart passage of a climate proposal that would dramatically lower fossil fuel emissions by 2050. Under the proposed bill, Oregon would put an overall limit on greenhouse gas emissions and auction off pollution “allowances” for each ton of carbon industries plan to emit. The legislation would lower that cap over time to encourage businesses to move away from fossil fuels.

The Oregon State Police has confirmed it is working with out of state of state resources to track the lawmakers down.


Updated 3:30 p.m.

Republican state senators who fled the Oregon Statehouse to prevent a vote on major climate legislation will be fined $500 a day each if there aren't enough senators present to vote on the bill.

A Go Fund Me page to raise money to pay the fines for the 12 Oregon senators had collected $4,000 as of Thursday afternoon.

The fines will begin Friday if enough GOP senators remain absent to prevent a vote on the cap-and-trade bill.

Under a cap and trade program, the state would put an overall limit on greenhouse gas emissions and auction off pollution “allowances” for each ton of carbon industries plan to emit.

Republicans, who are in the minority in both houses, want the proposal to be sent to the voters for approval instead.


Updated 11:50 a.m.

None of the Oregon Senate's 12 Republicans appeared for a vote on what could be the nation's second statewide cap and trade law.

Senate President Peter Courtney has requested the governor to deploy the state police to physically compel members back to the Statehouse.

Members will be fined $500 a day starting Friday for every day Republicans continue to delay a vote.

Courtney says he “had no choice” but to call the Oregon State Police and adds “this is the saddest day of my legislative life.”

He begged Republicans to return to take a vote calling their behavior “extraordinarily dangerous and explosive.”

Under a cap and trade program, the state would put an overall limit on greenhouse gas emissions and auction off pollution “allowances” for each ton of carbon industries plan to emit.


Updated 10:58 a.m.

Oregon Republicans have fled the Statehouse -- and the state -- to avoid taking a vote on a landmark climate plan.

Republicans want the proposal -- aimed at lowering the state's greenhouse gas emissions -- to be sent to the voters for approval. A spokeswoman for Senate Republicans says Thursday that negotiations with Democrats fell apart late Wednesday evening prompting conservatives to pursue a walkout.

The spokeswoman also confirms that some members have even left the state to avoid a vote.

The governor's office confirmed Wednesday that Gov. Kate Brown is preparing to deploy the State Police to physically compel members back to the statehouse.

Oregon State Police doesn't have jurisdiction beyond state lines.


Original story

GOP senators in Oregon walk out over cap and trade

It looks like Republicans in the Oregon Senate will again walk out to thwart majority Democrats’ goals, this time attempting to block a sweeping plan to address climate change.

Three Republican state senators confirmed to Oregon Public Broadcasting Thursday morning that many of their colleagues would be absent from the Capitol when a Senate floor session begins at 11 a.m., likely denying the chamber a quorum.

Democrats want to pass cap and trade, a free market solution to lower industrial greenhouse gas emissions. Cap and trade is a top priority for Democrats, who view the program as a way to meet the state's emission goals.

Under a cap and trade program, the state would put an overall limit on greenhouse gas emissions and auction off pollution “allowances” for each ton of carbon industries plan to emit. Democrats have presented the proposal as an efficient way to lower emissions while investing in low-income and rural communities’ ability to adapt to climate change.

Conservatives say it would hurt business and do little to stem the tide of climate change.

Gov. Kate Brown said Wednesday she's willing to extend the legislative session and mobilize the state police if Senate Republicans follow through with the threat to block the climate vote.

Senate Republican Leader Herman Baertschiger, Jr., responded to the governor's threats, saying that Democrats’ climate proposals threaten business and the livelihoods of rural communities.

Democrats control both the Oregon House and Senate. The GOP has previously used walkouts as a way to slow the legislative process.

Republicans walked out of the Senate earlier this session in protest of a school funding tax package. The standoff lasted four days, until the governor struck a deal to table legislation on gun control and vaccine requirements.



I'm happy that old Pete is sad.


Does the old adage “I will take my marbles and go home” seem similar to this? Waah, waah, waah!


Way to make it more expensive to do business in this state. Companies have already started taking the business elsewhere, taking jobs with them. Has anyone walked downtown Portland lately? That place is an enviornmental hazard in and of itself!


Burning gas is bad for the environment but letting hordes of illegals in is somehow a good thing? These progressives won’t be satisfied until they’ve made the entire state into a third world ghetto. Been to San Francisco, Portland Oregon or Seattle lately? Mac is already starting to look like those liberal ghettos.


Send it to the people to vote. Don't "bully" it down our throats. It is obvious the general public and informed voters do not want this. Parading children (young adults) on the news is just so Hollywood.


The Dems seem to think it is ok to run rough shod over everyone while they drive jobs and businesses out of the state. All the while they think illegals are more important than the Oregonians that live here and love our state. I have lived in this state for 80 + years, Common sense and decency seem to have been lost some where in the State Capitol.


Jerry been to San Francisco lately? That city is chocked full of vagrants (mostly white American citizens down on their luck.) Yet the only thing that Uber leftist city cares about is the illegals living in the non coastal parts of their state. Elitist leftists don’t do any work, sit in coffee shops and read liberal books and lazy around in academia while their “slave class” (the illegals) do the dirty work. Same thing is happening in McMinnville Oregon wine country.

Don Dix

Here is what Kate Brown said about a walkout to avoid a legislative quorum -- “Under certain circumstances, it’s fair to say we would use all tools available to us, and stage a similar boycott.”

That statement was from 2001 (Brown was Senate minority leader) when the Ds used the same strategy to thwart the R majority on redistricting.

Funny that the Ds can dish it out without impunity, but get all butt-hurt when their opponents use the same tactic -- hypocrites come to mind!


What's not widely reported is how it got to the vote in the first place. To get it out of committee the Senate Democratic leader removed a conservative leaning Democrat (Sen. Betsy Johnson, D-Scappoose) from the committee who was going to vote no with one who voted yes, she was then put back on the committee. Don't complain when the Republicans use this sort of tactic. It only got to the floor because the Dems first rigged the marbles that were in the game.


So...the Dems learned a lot from Reps DC's tactics.

Bill B

GRM, Treefarmer, Treehouse Tagup; you guys really need to get some new material


There is a super majority in the house and senate. The vast majority of voters in Oregon sent their representatives to Salem for policy like this. We already voted.


Then why not take the 'emergency' declaration off of a bill that doesn't start to come into effect for two years so if enough signatures are obtained the voters can send it to a ballot?


We need to fix the homeless, drug and mental health shortfalls facing the state before anything else. Kate Brown and Co. need to quit wasting time and money.

David S. Wall

Here is additional information relating to "Cap and Trade."
Read [HB 3425A] (Cap and Trade)here:

Read [HB 2020] (Office of Carbon Policy in the Governor's Office-"Voters" should beware of the creation of the "Carbon Czar") here:

Read [SB 1051](No "equal-payment...some get a price break) here:

Read [HB 3433] (more sequestration of greenhouse gas studies) here:

Read [SB 928] (the establishment of the "Oregon Climate Authority & Climate Board")here:

There are other related stories [House and Senate Bills].

David S. Wall


Thank you Dave Wall!

Don Dix

The title reads --Dem leader confirms climate bill lacks support. The Ds generally vote as one, and with a super majority in place, my suspicion is those were there, and may still be.

Brown and her comrades don't like being outmaneuvered when they control the dialogue, so the Rs should be wary about anything the Ds say or promise.


I am against cap and trade at the local and national level. We should instead be putting huge carbon tariffs on imported crap (literally most is subpar quality from China.) and get back to how my grandparents lived making more of our own stuff and keeping things repaired.

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