A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Finally, a useful campaign ad

Written October 17th, 2014 by Hasso Hering
On a desk buried by campaign ads, this one has a helpful reminder.

On a desk buried by campaign ads, the one on top contains a helpful reminder.

Much of the campaign propaganda raining down on us now is based on distortion and falsehood. Now and then there’s a useful exception. A newly arrived mail piece, for  example, has just reminded us that, unfortunately, one mid-valley candidate favors a state program to make motor fuel more expensive.

“Choosing the right path for future generations means acting now on climate change,” says the colorful ad backing the Democrat hoping to unseat Sen. Betsy Close in the Albany-Corvallis state Senate district. “The evidence that climate change is a real, serious threat is irrefutable,” the ad asserts, “and Sara Gelser believes we should be addressing it now. She supports Oregon’s Clean Fuels program that reduces carbon pollution from cars and trucks and initiatives to create more local green energy jobs.”

Democrats in the 2009 legislature enacted this program, which requires the fuel industry first to report the “carbon intensity” of gasoline and diesel and then to reduce it by 10 percent over 10 years. The program has a sunset or ending date in 2015, and the legislature has twice refused to remove that date. Governor Kitzhaber nevertheless directed the Department of Environmental Quality to go ahead and launch the program’s second phase, the carbon-reduction requirement.

The idea is to encourage the Oregon development of ethanol and biodiesel, and the only way that can be done is to make traditional fuels more expensive than they otherwise would be. This is the supporters’ approach to subsidizing an industry that can’t seem to prosper on its own.

Through lower mileage and higher food costs (as ethanol is made from corn), we are already paying for bad fuel policy because the law requires gas to contain 10 percent ethanol. Unless it is allowed to die as scheduled, the clean fuels law will have us make do with even less efficient fuel while paying even more.

The ad reminding voters that Sara Gelser supports this misguided program comes from the Oregon League of Conservation Voters. Thanks, guys, for pointing this out. (hh)

7 responses to “Finally, a useful campaign ad”

  1. tom cordier says:

    So if you won’t say it , I will. Don’t vote for Gelser–vote for Close to protect us from the local nut case.

  2. Bobby says:

    Just curious HH (or anyone who thinks Gelser’s support of this policy disqualifies her for public office): Are you saying that Anthropogenic Global Warming isn’t real? It is real, but we shouldn’t do anything about it? We should do something about it, but without government involvement? We should do something about it, but not at the Oregon state level? Or the state should address global warming, but this fuel policy isn’t a cost-effective way to address the state’s contribution?

    • Hasso Hering says:

      Thanks for the questions. If AGW is real and slightly accelerates the natural changes in the world’s climate systems over time, what Oregon does about motor fuel will have no effect on the rate of change. The fuels program increases government bureaucracy, expense and control over the economy, adds to the cost of living for citizens who barely get by now, and to some extent diminishes personal liberty, all of which is worse than a gradual shift in the weather over a century or so. Let science and technology work on inventing or developing better propulsion systems without the state in the meantime making life harder and more expensive for ordinary citizens. (hh)

  3. Jim Engel says:

    Mr Hering, at least Close has some respect for the 2nd Amendment. Gelser is from the Bloomberg school of gun confiscation & restriction. In my view the Demos of this beginning century are sure leaning to becoming the “new” communists of this century. Socialism is only good for a classroom study. Not for a practical political system.

    And please, alcohol is only good for drinks & not in engines! We got rid of lead which was a good thing. Ethanol has only benefited the corn industry!….JE

  4. Rhea Graham says:

    Why aren’t we making fuel out of Hemp, like we should be?

  5. Chris Ruck says:

    Climate change exists and has for tens of thousands of years. Same is true for solar and geologic processes that are beyond the scope of human re-direction. Carbon taxes are advertised as the solution, but where does the money go?

    The money goes into “initiatives” managed by consultants and agencies appointed by elected officials. Anyone want to dig a little and see if Cylvia Hayes has her mitts on the redistribution of taxpayer dollars to her preferred vendors? That is after all what advisers do.

    We’d all be better off if we managed our forest resources more responsibly and get serious about creating jobs; providing renewable building materials, taking a cut of the profits to fund public safety and our schools. Let’s not forget all those young trees that will gobble up all that CO2 as they grow into truly sustainable forests.

    Betsy Close isn’t going to be indebted to anyone but her constituents. Sara on the other hand would be obligated to her billionaire benefactors at the expense of our future.


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