Oregon carbon tax measure set for next step — if there is one

Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney and 17 of his colleagues voted to study the impact of a carbon tax in Oregon.

Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney and 17 of his colleagues voted to study the impact of a carbon tax in Oregon.

A "gut-and-stuff" strategy designed to keep a key sustainability measure alive in Oregon's legislative chambers has apparently worked.

However, with time running out on the state's 2013 legislative session, it's not clear whether the carbon tax-related initiative Senate Bill 306 will get full Oregon House consideration.

The Oregon Senate quietly passed the bill this week in between debate over the state's budget. SB 306 directs Oregon's revenue officer to prepare reports on the feasibility of a statewide "clean air fee or tax."

The measure passed the Senate by an 18-12 vote on Wednesday. The measure immediately went to House Speaker Tina Kotek who quickly turned it back over to the joint Ways and Means Committee.

The "gut-and-stuff" move put two House measures into one bill, the dead-on-arrival corporate kicker measure, in an effort to keep both issues alive.

A Portland State University study released earlier this year found that a carbon tax could deliver billions to the state's budget.

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