On Earth Day, the Eugene City Council passed a resolution urging state lawmakers to implement a carbon tax to help fight climate change.
Councilor Alan Zelenka introduced the resolution supporting a statewide carbon tax. It says the council agrees carbon dioxide emissions cause climate change, which threatens public health, national security and food supplies. The resolution states the council believes assigning a cost to carbon emissions is one of the most efficient ways to decrease carbon use and encourage alternatives. Five councilors voted in favor. George Poling and Mike Clark voted against the measure. Greg Evans was absent. Councilor Mike Clark:
Clark: "I think from the perspective of a local elected official, it is wiser and more responsible for us to begin to prepare for the effects of climate change, rather than to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to stop it, because I don't know that we'll have as great an effect on that as we will making appropriate preparation."
The resolution asks Oregon lawmakers to impose a carbon pricing policy, using current research and the experience of British Columbia, which implemented a carbon tax in 2008. The council wants legislators to mitigate any financial impact on low-income families.