SALEM, Oregon — Representative Christine Drazan (R-Canby) released the following statement in reaction to the recent Legislative Council opinion regarding the constitutional implications of the natural gas tax in HB 2020.
“Any revenues from the taxation of natural gas in Oregon must be deposited into the Common School Fund and cannot be used to mitigate climate change. HB 2020 spends millions, but certain natural gas taxes are constitutionally protected. This money belongs in our classrooms.
“Cap and Trade will unconstitutionally divert money away from our children’s education, into the pet projects of unelected bureaucrats. We cannot let that happen,” Rep. Drazan said.
The recently released Legislative Counsel opinion includes a requirement that the tax on natural gas not exceed 6% and that the tax on natural gas must abide by the dormant commerce clause, none of which is included in the language of HB 2020. These additional challenges to the funding and structure of HB 2020, come on the heels of the revelation that cap and trade will harm Oregon’s bond rating and in a matter of years cripple the Highway Trust Fund — effectively reversing recent bipartisan, bicameral legislation adopted to strengthen Oregon’s economy by funding a functional transportation system that efficiently moves people and goods.
“The most recent May 15 legislative opinion makes it clear that Oregon can’t just adopt California’s cap-and-trade scheme. Given what we now know, HB 2020 is not ready for adoption. I encourage my colleagues to take the time necessary to get this right,” Rep. Drazan concluded.