In celebration of Earth Day, I’d like to review the latest news on proposals for a landmark piece of legislation dealing with climate change.
This measure has gone by many names as it has evolved through the past three years. Cap and Trade, Cap and Invest, Clean Jobs, Clean Climate – if you are confused, it is likely because you are paying attention. But the basic premise of HB 2020 is that we place a limit on greenhouse gas emissions, charge firms or industries that exceed those limits, and then invest that money in new clean jobs and industries.
Here at the Coast, we know that climate change is real. We see ocean acidification affecting the crabbing season and our shellfish industries. Warming waters reduce fish runs. Rising ocean levels cause us concern for erosion and flooding. And hotter, drier summers extend Oregon’s devastating fire season and bring them closer to us.
Some argue that Oregon’s role in this looming problem is small. Others reply we all have an obligation. Think globally; act locally.
Like all of us, I worry about the future we leave our kids and grandkids. At the same time, my concerns as measures like HB 2020 move forward are how they may also affect local jobs, local industries, and the cost of living for local Oregonians like you.
The Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction is continuing to work on amendments to the original bill. At last count, there were 79 of them! Here are some highlights.
Cost Reimbursements: Rural residents, particularly lower income families and fixed income retirees worry this measure will increase the cost of gasoline and natural gas. That increase particularly impacts rural communities where we have to drive more for work and essential shopping.
New amendments are designed to reimburse targeted households for 100% of increased fuel costs. The plan is for the Department of Revenue to actually send checks to people. That cost is estimated for the median rural household at about 33 cents per day, or $120 a year. My priority is to ensure that our coast and coast range qualify as “targeted households” in the bill.
Farmers, Dairy, and Fisherman: Coastal small business also will be affected by costs for diesel fuel and natural gas. As the proposal evolves, I’m working to provide exemptions or reimbursements for business consumers in our critical and vulnerable local industries.
Large Employers: Major changes are being considered for some larger firms in rural communities. Mills in Toledo, Willamina, and Tillamook are our largest private employers. But they operate on thin margins. New costs or regulations could cause those facilities to close or shift production out-of-state.
Because climate change is a global problem, a company moving out of Oregon only to pollute heavily in another state doesn’t achieve lower emissions. But more important, the loss of those employers in small communities would be devastating.
We are now negotiating allowances when a company uses the most eco-friendly technology available. Some state money will also be available to help companies implement cutting edge changes. Under the amendment, companies would not be penalized if no new technology exists.
I’m advocating to ensure that the definitions of best-available technology are transparent. I’m also fighting to make sure that our mills have the resources they need to make the transition to these cleaner technologies.
How does the money get spent? The amended bill specifically calls out rural communities, low-income communities and federally recognized tribes as beneficiaries of a prescribed percentage of spending from the program. The amendment also prioritizes specific investments in wildfire prevention and job training.
Too often in policy discussions, “rural” is interpreted as Eastern Oregon and “urban” as the I-5 corridor. I’ve asked that “coastal” be specifically detailed in the bill to ensure our coast range and oceanside communities benefit.
The Oregon Transportation Commission will administer a competitive grant program, which would be distributed 50-50 between state and local projects. And the Commission is required to consider geographic equity of investments, as well as the balance between greenhouse gas reduction and climate adaptation programs.
I have been advocating for investments in regional transportation focused on our major arterials that may be vulnerable to climate-caused landslides.
House Bill 2020 continues to evolve. As the bill moves forward, the time sensitive question is how we can make it a better bill.
My email inbox is brimming with letters, for and against Cap and Invest. We all share a commitment to our environment and our children’s future. We also share a concern for daily costs. And here in Salem, we want to get it right.
Please take the time to email me with specific suggestions and a perspective from your own experiences and values.
National Popular Vote
Should the candidate with the most votes be elected president? Or should we continue to rely on the Electoral College process?
Supporters of the Electoral College argue that it requires candidates to appeal to voters outside large cities and increases the political influence of small states. Opponents argue that it can result in a person becoming president even though an opponent got more votes – which occurred in two of the last five presidential elections. It also causes candidates to focus disproportionately in a few “swing states”.
Eliminating the Electoral College would require a constitutional amendment. But a procedural proposal is working its way across the nation and will soon be voted on again in the Oregon legislature. SB 870 would require Oregon EC electors to cast their votes for the candidate winning the national popular vote (even if a different candidate wins the Oregon election). This commitment would take affect when enough states join the “compact” to total the 270 votes necessary to confirm election in the Electoral College.
The National Popular Vote proposal was approved by the Oregon House in previous years but failed to move in the Senate. However, SB 870 passed the Senate last week and will soon be voted on in the House. I have sponsored this legislation the last two biennia and believe every vote should count equally in the selection of our US President.
World Migratory Bird Day offers the chance to celebrate Spring and the arrival of migrating birds with live demonstrations, informative presentations, and hands-on activities and games for kids. The theme this year is “Protect Birds: Be the Solution to Plastic Pollution.” It will take place Saturday May 11, 2019 from 10am to 2pm at the Lincoln City Community Center.
World Migratory Bird Day is celebrated each year to highlight the need for the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats. More than 300 events in more than 60 countries mark[ed] World Migratory Bird Day 2018… [including] bird festivals, education programs, media events, bird watching trips, presentations, film screenings, and a benefit concert to raise funds for international nature conservation.
This year’s theme, “Be the Solution to Plastic Pollution” strikes a chord with all who are interested in protecting our beautiful coastal habitat and wildlife.
“Simply put, plastic pollution is a killer. Checkout bags from the grocery store, foam foodware, single-use water bottles, cigarette butts, and other plastics are responsible for everything from ugly litter to the death of wildlife.” (excerpt from Surfrider Foundation’s “Rise Above Plastics Toolkit”). Festivals like ours help to raise public awareness and offer viable solutions.
Audubon Society of Lincoln City (ASLC) is bringing the Migratory Bird Day festival to the Lincoln City Community Center in partnership with Lincoln City Parks & Recreation, Newport Oregon Surfrider Foundation, Oregon Coast Aquarium, Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition/CoastWatch, Oregon State Parks & Recreation, Tillamook County Master Recyclers, US Forest Service at Siuslaw National Forest, and Environment for the Americas. The festival is made possible through the support of sponsors including Chinook Winds Golf Resort and Salishan Resort. The festival offers fun for the entire family! It is free to the public and no registration is required.
ATTRACTIONS: Everyone will have a chance to win a variety of door prizes, including T-shirt and bag from Trillium, variety of household items such as bamboo utensils, reusable food wraps, metal straws, shopping and produce bags, and much more. (must be present to win). Raffle sales (do not need to be present to win) – two night deluxe accommodations at Salishan Resort. Interact with Chintimini Wildlife Center’s live raptors. Celebrate our kids as well as our birds and habit through the huge Lincoln City Habitat Mural created at last year’s festival and completed by St James Santiago School children. Interactive booths with information and people to answer your questions on our three topics: Why does plastic pollution matter? What is being done about it? What can I do? Enjoy kids activities including “Message in a Bottle” art project with Pooka Rice, Haystack Rock Awareness Program, free face painting, and our Wingspan mural where kids of all ages can compare their “wingspan” with that of birds like Bald Eagles.
Early risers can enjoy an 8:30am guided bird walk at the nearby Friends of the Wildwoods Open Space.
SCHEDULE: 10:00am – doors open, kids activities begin 10:30am – “Why does plastic pollution matter?” presentation 11:00am – Browse booths, first round of door prize drawings. 11:30am – “What is being done about it?” presentation Noon – Light refreshments, more time to browse, second round of door prize drawings. 12:30pm – “What can I do?” panel discussion clean-up, advocacy, and ways to reduce single-use plastics in the home. 1:00pm – Browse booths, final door prize and raffle drawings. 1:30pm – We we will wrap up the day showing some of the artwork created by the children during the festival.
The festival offers fun for the entire family! It is free to the public and no registration is required.
For more information, visit our website at www.lincolncityaudubon.org, on Facebook @audubonlincolncity, or contact ASLC President dawn villaescusa at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-507-8457.
Middle-East Politics: Former US AID contractor Jack Kranz provides his perspective on the situation in Occupied Palestine at the April Democratic Central Committee General Meeting.
The Lincoln County Democratic Central Committee meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 24, in the Fellowship Hall at Atonement Lutheran Church, 2315 North Coast Highway, Newport, OR 97365. The meeting is from 6-9 PM.
After our brief regular meeting business, our guest speaker will be Jack Kranz. Mr. Kranz is an engineer who will share his experiences doing development work in the Occupied West Bank of Palestine. Given the importance of recent developments in Palestine/Israel his insights will be extremely timely and relevant. Our own resident Middle-East expert Gilbert Schramm will present a brief update on events in Gaza as well as providing authentic Middle-Eastern appetizers for the meeting. All are welcome!
We are the blue wave! Join us in this cultural discussion. https://lincolncountydemocratsoregon.com/
Author Therese Oneill to speak at Newport Public Library
Therese Oneill will speak at the Newport Public Library on Monday, April 29 at 6:30 p.m. to talk about her new book, UNGOVERNABLE: The Victorian Parent’s Guide to Raising Flawless Children.
Two years ago, Oneill burst onto the scene with the New York Times bestselling UNMENTIONABLE, a hilarious and scandalously honest guide to life as a Victorian lady. In UNGOVERNABLE, she invites you to “set yourselves free from the agonizing pressures of twenty-first-century parenting” and take a trip back in time to learn about the backwards, pseudoscientific, and downright bizarre childrearing fashions of the nineteenth century.
Sourced from actual advice books of the era, UNGOVERNABLE advises you on:
– How to be sure you’re not too ugly, sickly, or stupid to breed – Which positions and room decor will help you conceive a son – How much beer, wine, cyanide, and heroin to consume while pregnant – How to select the best peasant teat for your child – Which foods won’t turn your children into sexual deviants – How to choose the best birching cane – And so much more
Endlessly surprising, wickedly funny, and filled with juicy historical tidbits and images, Ungovernable provides much-needed perspective on — and comic relief from — the age-old struggle to bring up baby.
Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing. For more information, go to www.newportlibrary.org or call the Newport Public Library at 541.265.2153.