On September 22, 2022, NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center filed an opening brief in its lawsuit challenging Oregon’s Environmental Quality Commission (EQC) Climate Protection Program (CPP). The lawsuit is intended to stop implementation of the CPP.
NFIB contends that Governor Brown and the EQC lacked authority to enact a statewide cap-and-trade program like the CPP, without an express delegation of authority by the Legislature.
In response to the filing, NFIB’s Oregon State director Anthony K. Smith said, “The CPP rules will decrease the competitiveness of small businesses relative to companies operating in localities without similar regulations and pricing.” NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center Executive Director, Beth Milito, added, “The current CPP Rules will decrease fuel availability and increase costs for small businesses and their families.”
NFIB’s brief makes four critical points in opposition to the CPP scheme:
- The EQC adopted the CPP rules without providing proper notices required under Oregon’s executive rulemaking law;
- The CPP rules apply to emissions sources that the Legislature specifically excluded, like those caused from agriculture, barbecues, and residential heating appliances;
- The CPP encompasses emissions beyond the authority of the EQC to regulate; and
- The CPP rules exceed EQC’s statutory authority by implementing compliance obligations on business and suppliers that are not air contaminating sources, nor sources of their customers emissions.