Having successfully stymied progressive Democrats and their cap and trade fantasies for the moment, the “runaway” Republican senators from Oregon are in no big hurry to return to the state.
With Oregon’s Democratic Gov. Kate Bown authorizing state police to round up the lawmakers on sight, 12 GOP senators, who did not show up for work, preventing the Democrat-controlled upper chamber from reaching quorum to vote on a job killing cap and trade bill, absconded.
Grinning like a Cheshire cat, one of those lawmakers, state Sen. Tim Knopp, went on “Fox and Friends” on Tuesday from an undisclosed location to say he and his fellow Republicans who skipped town aren’t returning until Democrats scrap the harmful legislation, which he characterized as a “carbon tax.”
Working in their favor, the state’s legislative session constitutionally ends on June 30 at midnight.
“We do want to take action on climate change but this was a carbon tax and one of the most inefficient, complicated, and expensive ways to address reduction carbon dioxide emissions,” Knopp said.
“All we’re saying is it shouldn’t cost thousands of manufacturing jobs, raise the gas tax by 20 cents a gallon to start out with, and raise natural gas prices for people who heat their home by almost 50 percent,” he added. “We think there’s a better way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and so we’re holding out and only way we could do that and stop this vote is by not providing a quorum for Democrats to roll over us.”
More from Fox News on the details of the legislation in question:
The bill would limit greenhouse gas emissions and auction pollution allowances for carbon that businesses want to emit, with a lowering cap. The bill would reduce emissions to 45 percent below 1990 levels by 2035 and 80 percent by 2050. Critics say it will hurt the business community and exacerbate a divide between the liberal, urban areas and rural parts of the state.
Knopp was critical of the Democrat’s bill, saying it doesn’t address carbon emission source. He also said when people understand what the bill is all about, they oppose it.
“When you tell them what it actually does and not just go with talking points about it being clean energy jobs, people are very opposed to it,” Knopp said. “And statewide I think they would be too. One of the things we’ve said is, if you’re so confident that people want this, let’s refer it to the people of Oregon, let’s let them debate it and let’s let them vote on it which we have that process here in Oregon.”
He told Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy the state police superintendent has been in contact with him and was “firm” in asking the lawmaker to return to the capital.
“I politely declined his offer and he indicated that at any time he would be prepared to facilitate my return to the capital,” Knopp said.
Which pretty much confirms that state police are after the GOP senators.
“The Senate Republicans have decided to abandon their duty to serve their constituents and walk out,” Gov. Brown said last week. “The Senate Democrats have requested the assistance of the Oregon State Police to bring back their colleagues to finish the work they committed to push forward for Oregonians. As the executive of the agency, I am authorizing the State Police to fulfill the Senate Democrats’ request.”
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