Carbon tax profile for Oregon (Lauren Currin; previous version byMaria Crossman)

Oregon State
1990
2007
% change 1990-2007
Fossil fuel CO2 emissions, in millions of metric tonnes[1]
31.1
43.5
+40%
Fossil fuel CO2 emissions, in millions of short tons[2]
34.3
48.0
+40%
Population, in millions[3]
2.8
3.7
+32%
Per capita CO2 emissions, in short tons
12.3
13.0
+6%

Per capita emissions in Oregon in 2007 were considerably lower than the U.S. average, which was 22.4 short tons per capita.[4] This is likely due to Oregon being one the leading generators of hydroeletric power, which makes up two-thirds of the the State's generated electricity. The state is also a large producer of wind energy, procuding 4% of the Nation's total wind energy. Oregon also shares major transmission lines that connect Oregon’s electricity grid to California and Washington State, allowing for large interstate energy transfers. In addition, in June 2007, Oregon adopted a renewable energy portfolio standard requiring the state’s largest utilities to meet 25 percent of their electric load with new renewable energy sources by 2025.[5]

A carbon tax of $30 per short ton of CO2 (about $0.30 per gallon of gasoline, or about $0.03 per kWh of coal-fired power) would have raised about $1.3 billion in 2007 (about $350 per person), assuming a 10% reduction in emissions.

For comparison purposes, in 2007 alone the state portion of the Corporate Excise and Income taxes generated about $425 million, the state Insurance Taxes generated about $53 million, state Estate Taxes generated about $14 million, the state Cigarette Taxes generated about $42 million; and the state taxes on Other Tobacco Products generated about $17 million. Oregon's Personal Income Tax, which comprises 86.2% if the total General Fund Revenues, generated about $5.5 billion. A carbon tax of $30 per short ton of CO2 could, assuming a 20% reduction in emissions, could have supplemented the state portion of all of these taxes, as it would have generated about $1.4 billion in 2007. The revenue from the carbon tax would have been equivalent to approximately 25% of the Personal Income Tax revenue from 2007. Using the carbon tax to buffer the revenue generated by income taxes from residents could make the tax more appealing to voters if it's framed in a way that indicates it could provide an opportunity to reduce income tax.[6]

carbon emissions
  1. ^ From EPA, “State CO2 Emissions from fossil fuel combustion, 1990-2007”, linked from here.
  2. ^ 1 metric tonne equals 1.1023 short tons.
  3. ^ 2007 population from the U.S. Census Bureau, http://www.census.gov/popest/states/NST-ann-est.html. 1990 population from U.S. Census Bureau, http://www.census.gov/popest/archives/1990s/ST-99-02.txt.
  4. ^ U.S. population of 301,621,157 in 2007 from U.S. Census Bureau, http://www.census.gov/popest/states/NST-ann-est.html. U.S. carbon emissions of 6.12 billion metric tons (6.746 billion short tons) of CO2 in 2007 from EPA, http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/usinventoryreport.html.
  5. ^ Oregon State profile EIA, http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/state/index.cfm.
  6. ^ Oregon State 2005-2007 Budget Revenue Summary, 2007 data averaged between 2005-2007 biennium actual and 2007-2009 projected revenue, http://www.oregon.gov/DAS/BAM/docs/Publications/GRB0911/P_Revenue_Summary.pdf