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Researchers Detail A Possible Oregon Carbon Tax

Pete Springer/OPB

Economists with Portland State University’s Northwest Economic Research Center have just released a report on how an Oregon tax on carbon (pdf) might work. The researchers based their scenarios on the carbon tax in British Columbia, which they implemented in 2008. The BC tax was designed to be “tax neutral,” meaning other taxes were reduced as the carbon tax was implemented. 

There are currently four bills that deal with a carbon tax in the Oregon legislature. A spokesman for Associated Oregon Industries says it’s too early to tell whether the business group would support or oppose those proposals. But John Charles with the Cascade Policy Institute says Oregon already taxes carbon and that further taxes would be unnecessary and harmful. Report co-author Jenny Liu says that their analysis shows an Oregon carbon tax could actually boost the economy.

Would you be willing to pay a carbon tax if your other taxes went down? What questions do you have about how a carbon tax would work in Oregon and what impact it would have? 


  • Jenny Liu: Portland State University economist; co-author of the carbon tax report 
  • Jeff Renfro: Portland State University economist; co-author of the carbon tax report 
  • Terry Lake: Minister of the Environment in British Columbia
  • John Charles: President and CEO of Cascade Policy Institute 
carbon climate change economy environment politics taxes

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