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Oregon Cap and Trade

Protect Oregon Jobs and Ensure Lower Global Carbon Emissions:

Why exempting energy intensive trade dependent jobs makes sense for workers and the environment


Oregon Mills Are Leaders in Reducing Emissions

Oregon’s pulp and paper producers are leaders in reducing carbon emissions and use some of the least carbon intensive energy resources of all paper producing states and countries.


Carbon emissions from Oregon’s pulp and paper manufacturers shrunk by 55% between 2005 and 2016. Reductions from continually operating mills is equal to:

  • 17,976 passenger vehicles driven for one year[1]

  • 14,765 households electricity use for one year[2]


Oregon’s pulp and paper mills predominantly use carbon neutral energy resources, like biomass and carbon free hydroelectricity, that generate zero or very low CO2 emissions. In fact, Oregon mills have the second-lowest intensity carbon emissions from purchased electricity of any state in the country.[3]


Trust the Experts

Oregon’s pulp and paper industry faces significant competition from mills outside Oregon and is very much an “energy intensive and trade exposed (EITE)” sector. A report by Vivid Economics, commissioned by the Oregon Carbon Policy Office, found that Oregon’s pulp and paper industry is an important economic driver, contributing around 4,000 jobs to the state’s economy. The report notes that, “The pulp and paper industry may have limited cost pass-through capacity” given its competitive dynamics.


Oregon Mill Closures Will Increase Global Emissions

Increasing costs for low-carbon Oregon mills will create a competitive advantage for pulp and paper production from higher-carbon states and countries, which will increase global green-house gas emissions. Oregon mills have the 2nd lowest carbon emissions intensity from purchased power in the entire nation and are global leaders.


  • Moving just 5 percent of production to Canada would increase emissions by ~8,000 mt CO2eq (Canadian average)

  • Moving just 5 percent of production to China would increase emissions by ~116,000 mt CO2eq (Chinese average)


Ensure lower global emissions without harming 4,000 Oregon jobs

The pulp and paper industry is an important economic driver in Oregon, providing 4,000 local jobs and $1.5 billion in value added to Oregon’s economy.[4] Those jobs would be at risk of leaving the state under the current draft of Oregon’s cap and trade legislation. Losing Oregon jobs to other states or nations while merely shifting the emissions elsewhere does more harm than good.


[1] From US EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator:

[2] From US EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator:

[3] From US EPA eGRID 2012

[4] Vivid Economics, Sector Brief—Pulp and Paper, Oregon Climate Policy Office

"There are several factors that suggest the pulp and paper industry should be designated EITE"
Vivid Economics
Pulp and Paper Sector Report
Oregon Carbon Policy Office
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