Oregon Gov. Kate Brown at a rodeo in 2017. The Pacific Northwest is becoming a veritable hotbed of climate policy. Just months after Washington state passed a comprehensive package of climate bills , its neighbor Oregon is on the verge of passing a fateful bill of its own, one that would have repercussions far beyond the region. The Clean Energy Jobs Bill (HB 2020A) was voted through by the Oregon Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction last week, the key legislative barrier to passage. Now it goes to the state Ways and Means Committee, then to the full House and Senate, then to the desk of Gov. Kate Brown. Though anything can happen, advocates are optimistic that the bill is headed for passage. So … who cares? Why does it matter? Oregon is not a big state, either in population or economy, but its legislation carries special significance, for several reasons. Oregon would be only the second US state to mandate not just greenhouse gas emission reductions in the electricity sector, as so many other states and cities have done , but economy-wide emission reductions. Across every sector — electricity, transportation, and industry — emissions would decline 45 percent below […]

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