Politics of cap-and-trade pit rural interests against urban locales in Oregon

Truckers and loggers organized the largest protest of cap and trade last week. (Troy Brynelson/Salem Reporter)

SALEM — The debate on climate change appears to have deepened the gap between the liberal politics of Portland and Eugene and the conservative politics of rural areas with natural resource and agricultural economies.

The impacts of the fight over doomed House Bill 2020 aren’t fully clear yet. Legislators finished their work Sunday and head home to constituents with deeply divergent views of whether Oregon ought to limit carbon emissions.

Cap-and-trade advocates said lawmakers and industry skillfully exploited the rural-urban divide, whipping up resentment in traditionally conservative parts of the state and turning the climate issue into a lightning rod.

One of HB 2020's chief architects, Sen. Michael Dembrow, D-Portland . . .