In Oregon, stark rural-urban divide fuels climate dispute

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The divide in Oregon between the state’s liberal urban centers and its conservative rural areas makes it ripe for the political crisis unfolding over sweeping climate legislation.

Eleven Republican senators are entering the seventh day of a walkout to deny the supermajority Democrats the quorum needed to vote on a cap-and-trade bill that would be the second of its kind in the U.S.

The stalemate has drawn international attention to Oregon, in part because right-wing militias have rallied to the Republican cause.

Experts say the standoff was inevitable given the state’s political make-up.

Big cities lean left, but about 40% of Oregon residents — mostly in rural areas — vote Republican.


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