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Commission Advocates Carbon Taxes

Oregon would tax your carbon footprint — but possibly cut other taxes under proposals presented to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council Wednesday.

The state’s Global Warming Commission chair Angus Duncan praised the power council for developing a plan with a small carbon footprint. But he says the council, and taxpayers, have to do more to help Oregon reach its lofty goals. Duncan says that’s why the commission wants lawmakers to tax carbon emissions.

“What we proposed and will be taking to our legislature is whether we could progressively substitute taxes that ignore carbon for taxes that would acknowledge carbon — but on balance, are revenue neutral,” Duncan said.

For example, Duncan suggests replacing the gas tax with two other revenue ideas. One is to have everyone pay a flat fee for road use. The second would tax drivers’ carbon emissions. Duncan says he’d also advocate moving away from taxes based on property value. Instead, he’d tax property owners based on a building’s energy efficiency.


Carbon footprint calculator

Nature Conservancy carbon footprint calculator

Household emissions calculator