Environmentalists defend cap and trade ahead of Timber Unity rally

The bill would limit carbon emissions in Oregon and potentially phase out old diesel engines, which would force business owners to buy new ones.

Posted: Feb 5, 2020 7:21 PM
Updated: Feb 6, 2020 5:35 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- As hundreds of truck drivers prepare to circle the capitol Thursday for the second Timber Unity rally on Thursday, some environmentalists continue to defend Gov. Kate Brown’s cap-and-trade bill.

The bill would limit carbon emissions in Oregon and potentially phase out old diesel engines, which would force business owners to buy new ones.

RELATED: TRUCK DRIVERS PLAN SECOND TIMBER UNITY CONVOY TO SALEM

Many Timber Unity members told KEZI 9 News that the cap-and-trade plans would put the timber industry out of business, which would affect hundreds of working families.

Linda Kelly, who works for 350 Eugene, an organization that advocates for climate action, said lawmakers have always tried to address Timber Unity’s concerns, even when they made amendments to the bill after the first rally in June.

MORE: TRUCKERS RALLY IN SALEM AGAINST CLIMATE PROPOSAL

"There have been amendments worked out that if there is an increase on gas prices for those industries and rural communities, there will be tax credits,” said Kelly.

Jason Gonzales, who works for another environmentalist group called Oregon Wild, said the cap-and-trade bill would actually help the timber industry instead of hurt it.

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"I believe that the more sustainable and carefully we log, the more people we employ in this state," said Gonzales.

Timber Unity members say they expect to see 1,000 trucks and more than 10,000 protesters at the Capitol Thursday.

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