The Keizer Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee met Wednesday (January 17th). A summary of the meeting is below.

Brendan McCarthy – Portland General Electric
Brendan McCarthy from PGE came to talk to us about the Cap and Trade bills before the Legislature next month. In short, the bills will cap carbon emissions statewide and require those who emit more than the limit to purchase (trade for) credits from those entities who are under the limit.

About 63 million metric tons of carbon are emitted each year in Oregon. The bills before the Legislature would cap those emissions at about 80 percent of what is produced today.

PGE is on a path to produce 70 percent of their power from carbon free sources. Customers are paying for the costs of those sources now. If PGE was required to purchase carbon credits to offset their carbon production, customers would have to cover the costs of those too. Customers would be paying twice for carbon reduction.

The current proposals could lead to rate increases of up to 6 percent for residential customers, almost 8 percent for commercial customers and over 10 percent for industrial customers by 2021. Some customers could see increases of over 40 percent by 2030.

PGE is not supportive of the cap and trade bills before the lawmakers. In addition to the cost which will be passed on to customers, PGE thinks there are just too many unanswered questions to run this type of legislation in a short 35 day legislative session.

Larry Jackson moved and James Hutches seconded a motion that the Government Affairs Committee recommend the Keizer Chamber Board of Directors oppose the cap and trade bills and work with lawmakers to share our concerns. The motion passed without objection.

Request for Comments
Members of the Government Affairs Committee shared the impacts current environmental rules are having on their businesses. The affects range from surcharges on delivery invoices to the need for specialized (and more expensive) engines for vehicles.

Do you have an example to share? We are collecting these examples to share with lawmakers. Please send you examples to

Political Action Committee
The Government Affairs Committee has spoken with a chamber member who runs several political action committees and we reached out to the Medford Chamber for information about the PAC they currently run. The Medford Chamber recently used to their PAC when their city council was taken over by members not so friendly to small business. The PAC allowed the chamber to help elect more friendly members to the Medford City Council.

As we start into the 2018 campaign season, we are continuing to explore a PAC for the Keizer Chamber. We will be working with members to come up with the types of decisions we need to make on issues related to PAC governance. More information is on the way.

Cherriots is asking for volunteers
Cherriots is accepting applications for its Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC).

The Cherriots CAC consists of nine (9) volunteer representatives who reflect the demographic diversity of the Cherriots service area. CAC members serve an important role as informed stakeholders providing feedback on Cherriots proposed service plans and other service-related matters. The Cherriots CAC meets quarterly on the third Tuesday in March, June, September, and December at 5:30 pm at The Courthouse Square – Senator Hearing Room at 555 Court Street NE, Salem, Oregon 97301.

For more information, call SueAnn Coffin at 503-361-7588, or email

Upcoming Events
Ballots for the Special Election on Measure 101 are due by the 23rd of this month. It is too late to mail your ballot so please take it to a local drop box. There is a box located near the front door of Keizer City Hall. To date voter turnout remains very low. That means your vote carries more weight than usual. Please turn in your ballot today!

On February 28th at 6:00PM the Keizer Chamber is hosting a Community Conversation on the future of River Road. The meeting will be held at the Keizer Civic Center. Please mark your calendars and plan to join us. What do you want to see for River Road in the future? We want to hear from you.

The Keizer Mayor and three Keizer City Council seats up for election this year. As the candidates for these seats file we will be scheduling a forum to hear from them before the November Election.

Our next Government Affairs Committee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 21st at 12:00PM at the Keizer Chamber Office.

If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact me.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jonathan Thompson, Chair
Government Affairs Committee, Keizer Chamber of Commerce
Cell: (503) 580-1294