After Republican Protest, Oregon’s Climate Plan Dies

Oregon’s sweeping plan for addressing climate change this legislative session is dead, Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, announced on the state Senate floor Tuesday morning.

On the fifth day Republican senators have skipped the session in protest over the cap-and-trade bill — and in an apparent attempt to bring them back — Courtney gave assurances that the bill would die in the Senate chamber.

“What I’m about to say I say of my own free will. No one has told me to say this,” Courtney said. “HB 2020 does not have the votes on the Senate floor. That will not change.”

The announcement, made before Democrats had even met for a caucus meeting Tuesday, appears to mark an end to the state’s plan to institute a cap-and-trade bill. Whether it will succeed in getting the Republicans back to the building is unclear.

Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick said after the Senate had gaveled out that she wasn’t aware of a deal. Senators who backed the bill appeared livid and declined to speak to reporters on the floor.

This story will be updated.

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