The Oregon Natural Resources Report - Agricultural News from Oregon

HB 4109: Carbon Sequestration Bill

February 7, 2018

Representative David Brock Smith (R-Port Orford) has long been an advocate for rural Oregon communities and their residents. As a former School Board Member for the Port Orford-Langlois School District; which is the 8th most impoverished School District in the Nation, Curry County Commissioner, Association of Oregon Counties and Association of O&C Counties Board Member, he has worked on natural resource and economic development issues that impact rural Oregon for well over a decade. As southwest Oregon still struggles to recover from the recession; with unemployment around 6% below mean 0 pre-recession, in the wake of the Chetco Bar Fire and in the face of a California modeled carbon tax that would economically hurt rural Oregonians the hardest, Rep. Brock Smith has introduced a bipartisan bicameral bill that will protect the health of our most vulnerable, grow family wage jobs in our rural Oregon communities, build healthier forests and sequester carbon emissions for generations.

Unlike the proposed carbon tax; modeled after California’s extremely expensive and punitive program, Rep. Brock Smith’s HB 4109 is a bicameral and bipartisan piece of legislation that looks to our amazing, renewable forests. “As a member of the Global Warming Commission; appointed by the Speaker, we know that Oregon produces less than .14 % of the global greenhouse emissions. Our abundant forests sequester over 60% of the greenhouse emissions produced in our State. Yet over 30% of these sequestered diesel, gas and other emissions are released back into the atmosphere in catastrophic fires, such as the Chetco Bar, releasing with them toxic emissions that impact the health, safety and lives of our residents,” said Rep. Brock Smith. These greenhouse gas emissions are also released through disease, decay and the lack of salvage on burned forestlands.

“The proposed $1.4 Billion dollar Carbon Tax does little to address these critical issues. It is punitive, will increase utility costs, fuel costs, and greatly impact rural Oregonians the hardest,” said Rep. Brock Smith. “It will also have little to no impact on reducing emissions, as industries will pass on the costs to consumers.”

The proposed Carbon Tax could also allow California Industries the ability to drive up the costs of the program here in Oregon, protecting their own markets in California and their families and residents. “This is shortsighted and a $1.4 Billion dollar policy has no place in a 35 day Legislative Short Session,” said Rep. Brock Smith.

“Data supports that our public forests are overgrown and unhealthy. Regardless of what side of the climate argument you are on, the landscape is changing and we must adapt the forest management practices to address the changing conditions,” said Rep. Brock Smith.

“We our blessed to grow the best solar powered carbon capture and sequestration engines in the world. Using sunlight to scrub greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere to produce oxygen, with a byproduct that is the most resilient building material in the world, wood. My bipartisan legislation looks to manage our resources, promoting forest health and habitat, while mitigating wildfire, creating jobs and sequestering carbon for generations. It will help provide the needed supply for our wood product industries; such as CLT and Mass Timber in combination with our aggregate and steel industries, to grow and support their rural Oregon residents and their communities. All while growing more carbon sequestration engines that use less water and sequester carbon at a greater rate,” said Rep. Brock Smith.

“It is past time to promote the carbon sequestration championed through our wood product industries,” said Rep. Brock Smith. “With our advances in CLT, Mass Timber, aggregate and steel, we can sequester carbon for generations while building the true bridge between the rural-urban divide, protecting the health, life and economies of our residents and their communities.”

Rep. Brock Smith’s Healthy Forests & Rural Job Innovation through Carbon Sequestration Bill is scheduled for a public hearing in the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee on Thursday, February 8th.

Rep. David Brock Smith represents House District 1, which includes Curry, Coos, Douglas and Josephine counties. This press release and an archive of previous press releases issued by Rep. David Brock Smith’s office are available on the web at:

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2nd Law February 7, 2018

You can’t save the climate by storing carbon in wood products. Only a small fraction of the carbon removed by logging ends up in long-term storage in wood products. Most of it is transferred to the atmosphere. For every ton of carbon in wood products, there are 3-10 tons of forest carbon transferred to the atmosphere.

Fires are not the problem. Forests are growing more than they are burning, so the net effect of fire across the forest ecosystem is not a problem. Nor can you log the forest to save it from fire, because no one can predict where or when fire will occur, so there is low likelihood that fuel reduction efforts interact with fire.

If the goal is climate stability, the best thing to do it let forests grow.

Charles LeBold February 7, 2018

This (HB4109) is a red herring. Already being addressed across the country and in the Clean Energy Jobs bill. Get to work on the carbon tax. You have got the numbers and studys adequate for decision makers and you have had them for years so pull things together and get some meaningful legislation going. I might add the proposed tax is way too low please try to get the range up to 40-60/ton. Thank you.

Bob Clark February 8, 2018

Cap and tax is a sham. You tax the general public with increased fuel costs, and then the state government takes a chunk out of corresponding public revenues to expand hiring and other perks which in turn adds to the future PERS burden on the populace at large. Meanwhile the remaining chunk is handed out to green profiteers, who in turn donate to the state politicians who pass this Cap and tax scam so as to only reinforce this progressive driven political cycle. Middle class folks are leaving California’s rising cost of living (caused by these kind of policies) at rate of over a 100,000 people per year. California itself grants exemptions to industry which would otherwise leave. The response by industry to Oregon’s Cap and Tax currently is to carve out special exemptions for themselves individually. Firms like NIKE say they like it even as word has it they will get their own carve out. Intel same thing. The powerful get protection from the scam while the masses at large get driven to the edge of government dependency. And for what: an uncertain intangible benefit depending on more than just lip service from a multitude of countries far and wide. Get real. Stop this stupid Cap and Tax Scam.

Mr. Casey February 9, 2018

Someone needs to produce a chart on where most of the pollution is coming from in Oregon

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