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Senate committee advances Oregon low-carbon fuels bill

SALEM — An Oregon bill aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions has cleared its first hurdle in the state Legislature.

Democrats on the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee sent the measure to the full Senate in a party-line vote Wednesday.

The bill would extend Oregon's low-carbon fuel standard, which requires oil companies to reduce the carbon emissions associated with their fuels or buy credits from producers of cleaner-burning fuels. The program was first approved in 2009 but is set to expire at the end of the year.

Critics say it would raise fuel prices without bringing a noticeable reduction in global carbon emissions.

Proponents say price increases would be minimal, and it would spur investments in new technology.