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Activists rally at Capitol to promote carbon tax

by: RORY FINNEY - Oregon activists created a giant salmon to use at rallies advocating for action on climate change. A new citizen group lobbying for a carbon tax to stem climate change is sponsoring what it bills as Oregon’s first Climate Action Day at the state Capitol.

Oregon Climate Action Now is sponsoring the event on Wednesday, May 22, on the Capitol lawn, starting at 11 a.m. Activists will display a 100-foot-long “salmon” with “scales” more than 1,300 Oregonians from recycled cardboard.

Rep. Jules Bailey, D-Portland, will be one of the speakers at the rally, which begins at 12:15 p.m.

Bailey is sponsoring a carbon tax bill in this year’s legislative session. Experts say the No. 1 way to bring broad-based reductions in greenhouse gas emissions is by levying a surcharge on fossil fuels, either through a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system.

Bailey and other supporters say a carbon tax can be enacted in a "revenue-neutral" fashion so it's not a tax increase.