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Founded in 1979, Solar Oregon is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit membership organization providing public education and community outreach to encourage Oregonians to choose solar energy.
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Time for a Price on Carbon

by Gordy Molitor, Solar Oregon Board Member

The Solar Oregon Board of Directors has decided to advocate for a revenue-neutral carbon tax, and we encourage others to join us. 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Meteorological Society, the Catholic Church, the U. S. Department of Defense and nearly every climate scientist all say that climate change is happening and that is caused by man's burning of carbon fuels.  Oregon is already feeling the effects of climate change in terms of reduced snow fall, more droughts and forest fires, and acidification of the ocean.

The Obama administration is starting to combat climate change through regulation of carbon emissions.  But such government policies are not enough and are not as efficient as leveraging market forces through a carbon tax.  The best way to encourage the adoption of next-generation energy sources, including solar energy, is to increase the cost of burning carbon.   

Solar Oregon is joining the advocacy efforts of the Citizens Climate Lobby in pressing for a revenue-neutral carbon tax that:

  • Puts a steadily-rising fee/tax on carbon-based fuels at the first point of sale
  • Returns the revenue to households to offset higher energy costs, while the nation develops a clean energy economy
  • Imposes tariffs on goods from nations that do not have similar carbon pricing in order to protect American business.

We believe it most effective to have such a national carbon tax.  Until a national tax is instituted, Solar Oregon will advocate for a state tax.

Solar Oregon has written Oregon's Congressional Delegation and Senators encouraging them to introduce or sponsor a revenue-neutral carbon tax.  On a state level, we will monitor the publication of the Clean Air Fee or Tax Study, authorized in the 2013 legislative session, and press for a state tax.

Solar Oregon encourages individuals and business to take similar actions.  If you would like to join in advocating for a revenue-neutral carbon tax, the following resources will be helpful:

Background Information:


Oregon Contacts for Individuals and Businesses:

  • Oregon Climate
  • Solar Oregon Carbon Tax Advocacy:
    • Gordy Molitor
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