A member of the Oregon House of Representatives has introduced a bill that would outlaw the sale of “petroleum” diesel fuel in some counties in just a few years — a move that has come under heavy criticism by the Oregon House Republican Caucus.
The bill, known as HB 3305, was introduced by Rep. Karin Power on Tuesday.
If passed, the bill “prohibits retail dealer, nonretail dealer or wholesale dealer from selling petroleum diesel for use in motor vehicle on or after specified dates.” The bill goes on to state that “‘Petroleum diesel‘ does not include fuel that consists of a blend of petroleum diesel and biodiesel or other renewable diesel, as those terms are defined in ORS 646.905, where the biodiesel or other renewable diesel is at least 99 percent of the mixture by volume.”
The bill would begin to ban the sale of “petroleum” diesel by “non-retail dealers” as soon as 2024 in Clackamas, Washington or Multnomah counties and state-wide by 2027.
The bill defines non-retail dealers as “any person who owns, operates, controls or supervises an establishment at which diesel fuel is dispensed through a card-activated or key-activated fuel dispensing device to nonretail customers for use in a motor vehicle.”
The bill would ban the sale of “petroleum” diesel by a retail dealer starting in 2025 in Clackamas, Washington, or Multnomah counties and state-wide by 2028.
The bill defines a retail dealer as “any person who owns, operates, controls or supervises an establishment at which diesel fuel is sold or offered for sale to the public for use in a motor vehicle.”
The Oregon House Republican Caucus issued a scathing rebuttal of the proposed petroleum diesel ban, calling it a “declaration of war against the working class.”
Representative Shelly Boshart Davis of Albany said, “Our entire economy depends on the free flow of freight by both truck and rail, nearly all of which is powered by diesel engines. There is simply no commercially available, cost-effective alternatives to transporting these goods. Of course, the impacts of this bill go beyond trucking and freight and would destroy any and every industry that relies on heavy equipment, render tens-of-thousands of personal vehicle inoperable, and put countless Oregonians out of work.”
“Not only was this bill blindsiding, I am also disturbed to see such a blatant attack on working Oregonians,” Davis said.
In response to the uproar over the legislation, Power tweeted, “I don’t understand this press release; we sent the language to folks in advance and asked for collaboration and feedback. This policy replaces one type of diesel fuel with other fuel types. It’s spearheaded by a major trucking company that has found significant cost savings.”
The bill is currently awaiting committee assignment.