Douglas County truckers and loggers did what they could to put a proverbial lid on the cap-and-trade bill that was sent to Oregon’s Senate this past June.
Hundreds of truckers from Douglas County departed from Gene Whitaker Trucking in Wilbur well before sunrise on June 27 to meet up with thousands of other blue-collar workers for a rally in from of the Oregon State Capitol in Salem. The rally was to protest House Bill 2020, a bill designed to reduce the state’s greenhouse gasses to 45% below 1990 levels by 2035 and 80% of 1990 levels by 2050.
That came after 11 Republican senators announced their intention to protest and walk out, preventing a quorum in the Senate from being reached while preventing the Democratic supermajority from passing the bill into law.
“Douglas County was far and away the biggest presence there, and it shows that the timber capital of the world is still here to fight and make a comeback,” said Sen. Dallas Heard, R-Winston, as he joined his fellow Republicans in returning to the Senate after the announcement the bill would not proceed.
The events helped start Timber Unity, a working-class movement in Oregon which cut off membership to its Facebook page when it ballooned to more than 50,000 within a matter of weeks. Their battle likely hasn’t ended, either: There’s talk of a revised, less strict cap-and-trade bill being introduced when the next legislative session begins on Feb. 3.