Opponents of Oregon legislation to combat climate change are starting an ad blitz claiming that it would jack up consumer costs.
Priority Oregon said Thursday it will spend at least $100,000 on TV, radio and digital ads attacking the bill that would establish a “cap and trade” system aimed at reducing carbon emissions.
That bill may come up for debate at the upcoming legislative session in Salem.
Scott Bruun, a former Republican legislator who is a spokesman for the group, said that the bill will lead to “cost increases to gasoline and to food and even heating your home.”
The group’s TV ad claims that consumers could face cost increases of up to $1,000 a year, which Bruun said is based on a 2017 study commissioned by Associated Oregon Industries.
Brad Reed of Renew Oregon, a coalition backing the legislation, said the study is biased in favor of business interests that would bear the cost of either reducing their carbon emissions or buying permits to continue emissions at higher levels.
Reed said the study didn’t take into account that the bill would generate investment in clean-energy programs. And, he said, California already has a cap and trade system that has not led to big consumer price increases.
Priority Oregon is a nonprofit that has not released the names of its donors. The group was formed a year ago and has been involved in several conservative causes.
Last week, it released a website attacking Gov. Kate Brown’s record. And it has filed four proposed ballot initiatives dealing with taxes, government spending and public employee unions.