With the passage of Oregon’s low-carbon fuel standard, which is expected to raise the cost of gas by up to 19 cents a gallon, legislators don’t seem eager to proceed with a gas tax to pay for road and bridge work across the state.
Other states have been raising gas taxes lately to fund badly needed infrastructure improvements, and the idea had been suggested in Oregon as well. State Rep. Cliff Bentz told Jefferson Public Radio that negotiators had been looking at a gas tax hike of 6 to 10 cents per gallon before Republicans withdrew from the talks.
The low-carbon fuel standard, which the governor signed into law in March, aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by requiring distributors to lower the amount of carbon emitted by gasoline by 10 percent over the next 10 years.
House Republican Leader Mike McLane said the low-carbon bill ruined chances of funding the needed roadwork for now.
“The passage and signing of this bill has squandered away any chance of a bipartisan transportation package that would’ve fixed roads and bridges and improved infrastructure and public safety across the state,” he said in a statement. “It’s unfortunate that Governor [Kate] Brown today chose to ignore the voices of middle-class and rural Oregonians.”
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