The carbon cap legislation that caused 11 Republican Senators to flee Salem this week is also stirring conflict among Oregon businesses.
Despite the surprise announcement from Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) June 25 that the bill does not have sufficient Democratic support to pass, Portland-based Stimson Lumber today called for a boycott of Oregon Business for Climate, a coalition of business that supported the legislation.
"This legislation would have imposed billions in new taxes on Oregonians who can least afford them, while having an imperceptible impact on our climate," Stimson CEO Andrew Miller said in a statement. "It is disturbing to me that urban legislators so carelessly disregard Oregon's working families in favor of ramming through political agendas that only pad the pockets of their special-interest campaign donors."
This isn't the first time Stimson has used its economic clout to protest Oregon politics. In May, the company announced that it would lay off 40 percent of its workforce in Forest Grove, and move operations to Idaho and Montana. Miller said that the layoffs were a direct response to tax and environmental policies passed this year—including a billion dollar bond to increase school funding and the 2015 Clean Fuels Program.
Miller accused businesses in support of House Bill 2020 of not caring "if mills shut down or our families are impacted."
Other companies involved with the pro cap-and-trade group Oregon Business for Climate—Dutch Bros. Coffee and Fort George Brewery—pulled out of the organization after Republican Senators walked out of the Capitol.
"Our intention in joining Oregon Business for Climate was to collaborate with businesses to find solutions to environmental issues," Dutch Bros told WW. "We never intended for our name to be used in support of this, or any, bill."
Over 100 businesses support Oregon Business for Climate—including Adidas, the Portland Trail Blazers, Uber and Airbnb.
Nancy Hamilton, a co-director of Oregon Business for Climate, says that Miller is "contributing to hysteria based on misinformation," and that she "would encourage him to actually read bill."
"Oregon Business for Climate members are representative of companies all over the state, not just the metro area," Hamilton adds. "We're waiting to see how the end of session plays out, but our intention is to continue to push this legislation."