Oregon’s state legislature has proposed a cap-and-trade tax, which the bill’s authors hope will address climate change. There’s just one problem: cap-and-trade policies have nothing to do with the environment. They’re simply a backdoor sales tax.

Cap-and-trade taxes don’t actually stop pollution or even greenhouse gas emissions. They simply require companies to pay a fee. Since more than 80% of U.S. energy consumption comes from “fossil fuels” — that’s oil, natural gas, and coal — cap-and-trade would lead to higher costs for nearly every product Oregonians buy, including food, fuel and electricity.

Oregon should keep in mind the failure of California’s cap-and-trade program, which has sent most of its revenue to other states and made little if any impact on emissions.

For more facts on carbon dioxide, read our carbon tax breakdown.

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