Journal of Environmental Law & Litigation : Vol. 21, No. 1, p. 207-250 : Shaping Oregon Climate Policy in Light of the Kyoto Protocol
Robison, Jason A.
This Comment focuses on the frontier of climate policy in the State of Oregon. Specifically, in light of the implementation of a global cap-and-trade system for greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions under the Kyoto Protocol (Protocol), this Comment examines the policy option of implementing a regional GHG cap-andtrade system in Oregon and among the West Coast states. Much terrain is covered to give context. Part I provides a primer on climate science that describes the potential impacts of climate change on the global level and in the Pacific Northwest. After illuminating the potential threats posed by climate change, Part II describes the international community’s response, focusing almost exclusively on the Protocol’s cap-and-trade regulatory system for GHG emissions. In contrast, Part III shifts attention to the state and local levels. It begins by providing a cursory discussion of the climate policies and programs established by states and localities as well as some of the cutting-edge litigation brought by states and localities involving climate change. Part IV examines climate policies and programs in the State of Oregon, paying particular attention to the carbon dioxide (CO2) standard for new energy facilities (the Standard). Finally, Part V provides a comparative analysis of the Protocol and the Standard, discusses how Oregon and the other West Coast states can use the Protocol as a model to design a regional cap-and-trade system, and concludes by examining some of the potential obstacles and benefits associated with implementing such a system.