The protesters against H.B. 2020, the “cap and trade” bill, are being played for suckers. With Oregon’s weak campaign finance laws the timber industry practically owns both parties in our legislature. If HB 2020 was truly a threat to the timber industry it would never have even made it out of committee. What we’re seeing is political theater with politicians on both sides, industry flacks, environmentalists and protestors as the actors and the public as the gullible audience.
The irony here is that “cap and trade” is the conservative, market-based concept for addressing the causes of climate change. It sets goals for greenhouse gas emissions reduction and incentivizes individuals and businesses to come up with creative solutions themselves.
The more time we waste dithering over how to deal with this critical problem, the more painful and expensive it will be in the long run. If we wait until our coastal towns have washed away and our forests have burned up, it will be too late.