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Kitzhaber: Carbon Fuel Standard Unrelated To Road Fixes

Office of the Governor
File photo. Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber discussed his his 2015 legislative agenda with reporters Tuesday.

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber spoke to reporters in Salem Tuesday about his 2015 legislative agenda.

One proposal Kitzhaber wants to advance is a transportation package -- a plan to improve and maintain bridges and roads.

The governor also spoke about a low carbon fuel standard, which would set higher taxes for higher-emission fuel.

Kitzhaber and some Democrats in the legislature have said they want both to pass. And when reporters asked if the two were related, Kitzhaber said no.

"I don’t think they’re related. They’re two fundamentally different things,” Kitzhaber said. “The low carbon fuel standard deals with how we fuel our transportation system, and the transportation package has to do with the infrastructure on which it operates. But I think they’re both very important for the state.”

Kitzhaber said a low carbon standard gives Oregonians choices. Republicans in the legislature are critical of a carbon tax. They say it would make things harder for drivers with low incomes.

The legislative session in Oregon starts Monday.