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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Governor Brown Signs Clean Fuels Bill Into Law

Office of the Governor
File photo. Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a clean fuels bill into law Thursday.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has made what is perhaps her boldest political statement since she took office in February.

The Democrat signed into law Thursday a hotly debated bill that will make companies that sell fuel in Oregon reduce the carbon content of their products. The measure narrowly won legislative approval.

Environmental groups hailed the governor's signing, but Republicans said the new law will increase the cost of gas in Oregon. The GOP also said the law puts a transportation funding package at risk.

Republicans said they don't want to essentially pass two increases in the price of fuel during one legislative session. It's the second price hike -- the gas tax increase -- that would go to fund roads and bridges in Oregon.

But Republicans said that's now off the table. Democrats can't pass a gas tax increase without at least a little bit of Republican support.

Majority Democrats said they're still committed to finding enough legislative support to fund transportation improvements.