Climate bills in Oregon criticized for negatively impacting rural farming communities

"Rural communities are not responsible for Portland's air quality," the Farm Bureau stated in written testimony.
Due to the drastic reduction of the food service industry due to the coronavirus, many fields like this are being plowed under because of the expense of harvesting and the lack of profit.

March 18, 2023 3:42pm

Updated: March 18, 2023 9:25pm

Climate bills in the Oregon legislature are being criticized for potential devastation of rural communities and could possibly fuel further inflation. 

One of the bills titled House Bill 3158, the "Clean Diesel Engine Tax" would add new taxes to off-road machinery, such as that used in farming and logging.  

The Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB) came out against this bill, pointing out that it would tax virtually every piece of equipment that's used in agriculture, plus the fuel and tires that are also necessary for its use. 

The OFB added that this bill would put the burden on rural businesses with the cost of retrofitting trucks in the state's largest metropolitan area. Revenues from this tax would be transferred to the "Clean Diesel Engine Fund."

"Rural communities are not responsible for Portland's air quality, but HB 3158 puts that responsibility squarely, and inappropriately, on the backs of our members," the Farm Bureau stated in written testimony.

Another climate bill being criticized is SB 803 which would expand Portland's petroleum-based diesel phase-out to the rest of Oregon. 

Opponents of these bills don't want to copy Portland, and say the cost of fuel would rise and wind up hurting lower-income Oregonians and rural communities, according to the Epoch Times.

These bills are currently in the state legislature.