Newsom, a Leader on Climate, Fights a Lyft-Backed Electric Vehicle Measure in Portland
In the first few weeks of October, Oregon voters will head to the polls to decide whether they want to put a “progressive” tax on companies and an “emergency vehicle fee” fee on cars and light trucks that are plugged into a network of charging stations.
The measure, which was put forth by Democratic Gov. Kate Brown in a bid to combat the state’s dependence on fossil fuels, has a lot of support. In fact, this coming November’s election will be the first contest in the country where a carbon tax will be on the ballot.
In fact, several states in the U.S. and Europe have passed carbon taxes of some form that have raised revenue and reduced pollution. As a result, California, New York, and Hawaii have joined the likes of the Virgin Islands, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Oregon, Washington, California, and New York in implementing such taxes.
In the case of Oregon’s car-charging fee, it was placed as a “special election initiative” and passed by a vote of 5-4. This has led some to say that it will be a “do it yourself” campaign but for a group called Better Roads Oregon, which was formed ahead of the November 2018 election, they saw an opportunity.
According to The Oregonian, “A group supporting the car-charging fee said they will spend more than $3 million to encourage voters to approve it.” This group has the endorsement of U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, who said, “In Washington, the states are running themselves into the ground. There’s no central planning going on. There’s no long list of things that everyone has to do,” and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said, “We know the economy is already struggling, but there’s not a lot we can do about it.”
The car-charging fee is just a small part of the state’s Climate Solutions Program. The other sections of the program that make up Oregon’s carbon tax are a cap and trade program, which allows for the use of carbon dioxide emissions as a means to