To the voters of my district:
Many households in my district received an inflammatory mailing last week called “50 Shades of Corruption” which tried to connect me and my upcoming vote on clean fuels to recent problems in the Governor’s office.
The first thing I have to make clear is that I did not send you this card. Certainly it was designed to look like it was from me, and many people mistakenly thought it was sent by my office. But actually the source was a shadowy political committee based in Sublimity and funded by out-of-state interests.
Senate Bill 324 continues the Clean Fuels Program that was initially passed in 2009 and signed into law by former Governor Ted Kulongoski. It seeks to make Oregon a leader in reducing carbon emissions by setting an increasingly cleaner standard for fuel distributors. But there are concerns that it might also eventually increase gasoline prices.
I have supported amendments to add price protections for consumers and ease pressures on our coastal employers by exempting commercial vehicles and fishing vessels. And there is the argument that in the long run, competition from cleaner fuels will drive down gas prices, create local jobs, and encourage more innovation. But the potential for short-term costs are a concern for people on low or fixed incomes.
This will be a hard decision in our Coastal District where gas prices are already among the highest in the state. The measure has changed as it works its way through the legislative process. I’ll make my final decision when the bill is in final form and ready for a vote. That decision will be based on the merits of the bill and not because of pressures created by an attack campaign sent to my neighbors, family, and friends.
Please join me in rejecting negative messaging. I welcome your opinion on this important question. Feel free to contact my office. And please don’t be alarmed by propaganda designed to confuse and incite the situation.