One of the runaway Oregon Republican senators said they won’t return to the state until the “inefficient, complicated, and expensive” carbon tax is scrapped and a bipartisan solution is found.
Oregon State Senator Tim Knopp appeared on “Fox and Friends” Tuesday morning from an undisclosed location as he and other 11 Republicans remain in hiding to block the looming climate change legislation – all while the state police was authorized by Democratic Gov. Kate Brown to round them up.
He said that the Republican walkout was warranted given the damage the legislation would inflict upon the people of Oregon, but stressed that they too want to combat climate change.
“We do want to take action on climate change but this was a carbon tax and one of the most inefficient, complicated, and expensive ways to address reduction carbon dioxide emissions,” Knopp said.
“All we’re saying is it shouldn’t cost thousands of manufacturing jobs, raise the gas tax by 20 cents a gallon to start out with, and raise natural gas prices for people who heat their home by almost 50 percent. We think there’s a better way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and so we’re holding out and only way we could do that and stop this vote is by not providing a quorum for Democrats to roll over us,” he added.
The bill would limit greenhouse gas emissions and auction pollution allowances for carbon that businesses want to emit, with a lowering cap. The bill would reduce emissions to 45 percent below 1990 levels by 2035 and 80 percent by 2050. Critics say it will hurt the business community and exacerbate a divide between the liberal, urban areas and rural parts of the state.
Knopp confirmed that the state police is indeed after the runaway Republicans, with the police superintendent being “firm” on him in asking for his return.
“I politely declined his offer and he indicated that at any time he would be prepared to facilitate my return to the capital,” the lawmaker said.