Arguments Heard in Oregon Environmental Case NFIB Has Joined

Date: October 03, 2023

Does the state have the authority to implement its Climate Protection Program?

Oral arguments were heard September 29 in a case NFIB has joined, challenging the authority of the state to proceed with its Climate Protection Program and the carbon emission targets it has set.

“The program, approved by the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission in December 2021, mandates ever-increasing cuts in emissions from the state’s natural-gas utilities and suppliers of gasoline, diesel, kerosene and propane,” reported The Oregonian. “It also requires existing and proposed large industrial facilities to reduce carbon pollution through the best available emissions-reductions approaches. The program went into effect in January 2022. Its goal is for fossil fuel suppliers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2035 and 90% by 2050. Large industrial facilities must also aim for 50% reductions by 2035.”

The oral arguments can be viewed here.

Small business is unavoidably ensnared in the issue, which is why the NFIB Small Business Legal Center filed an opening brief as a petitioner-intervenor in the case, arguing that it is not within the authority of the executive branch, and by extension, the EQC, to enact statewide cap-and-trade programs like the CPP, without an express delegation of authority by the Legislature.

“The CPP rules will decrease the competitiveness of small businesses relative to companies operating in localities without similar regulations and pricing,” said Anthony K. Smith, NFIB Oregon State Director. “On behalf of Oregon’s small businesses, NFIB urges the Court of Appeals to declare the CPP Rules invalid.”

Added Elizabeth Milito, executive director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center, “The current CPP Rules will decrease fuel availability and increase costs for small businesses and their families. These regulations are a great concern to small business owners, who already report energy costs as a large expense to their businesses.”

The Oregon Capital Chronicle also covered the oral arguments in the case, which is before the Oregon Court of Appeals. NFIB will continue to report on its progress.

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Other Environment-Related Stories from the NFIB Oregon Webpage



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