A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Life under state Carbon Office in 30 years?

Written February 6th, 2019 by Hasso Hering

Linn County Commissioner John Lindsey may look happy, but about HB 2020, in front of him, he’s not.

John Lindsey is worried about House Bill 2020. And depending how that legislation turns out, you might be too if you’re hoping to still be alive in Oregon in about 30 years.

I ran across Commissioner Lindsey at the Linn County Courthouse Tuesday afternoon. He was reading HB 2020, the proposed Oregon Climate Action Program, and had marked up the sections that to him were of special concern.

Thus reminded, I looked up the bill and reread it on my own. HB 2020 is likely to become law because it’s a top priority of Democrats, who have super majorities in both the House and Senate.

As a law, the act will set up a Carbon Policy Office in state government. The director of that office will promulgate rules and enforce them with civil penalties. The rules will be intended to, over time, all but eliminate the emissions of carbon dioxide and other so-called greenhouse gases.

By 2035, under this program of regulation, emissions of greenhouse gases are supposed to be 45 percent below the level of 1990. And by 2050, they’re supposed to be 80 percent below 1990. According to projections by Portland State, Oregon’s population by then is likely to be closing in on 6 million, about a third higher than now. Which means that in about 30 years, in order to meet the goal of this law, the use of fossil fuel will have to just about cease.

To reach the goal, the law caps emissions at the level of the last three years, then lowers the permitted level each year. The main producers of fuel and energy would be allowed to buy, at auction, “allowances” so they could stay in business.

It’s hard to see how this cannot lead to sharp increases in the price of motor fuel, home heating, and everything produced in Oregon. But so far,  legislators don’t have answers on the costs. As for the bill’s revenue and cost impact on state government, the legislative website says “no items to display.”

One potential outcome is that voters feel the bite to such an extent that they force a future legislature to repeal the program. If not, you’re looking at a drastic change in how Oregonians may have to live 30 years from now. You may have to forget about having a job, except maybe in government, writing rules. If you still do have a job, forget about driving to and from work. You could’t afford the gas. And as for housing, you might want to move to a one-room shack with a stove that burns wood. (hh)

47 responses to “Life under state Carbon Office in 30 years?”

  1. Bill Kapaun says:

    Anything to create more PERS jobs to pad their PACs to create more PERS jobs…….

  2. J. Jacobson says:

    Neither you or Lindsey have any skin in the game. In 30 years you’ll both be dead. You have no evidence or knowledge as to how anything will be in 30-years time. Consequently the alleged fears you and Lindsey claim are Kellyanne Conway “alternative facts.”

    You can be forgiven because you are a media hack, unable to prevent yourself from ginning up a story to get more eyeballs. Lindsey, on the other hand, is both elected and deluded. That Lindsey is opposed should give all thoughtful people confidence that HB 2020 is precisely what Oregon needs to be doing.

    Really, Hasso! Avoid Lindsey unless you’re unable to. What about Boshart-Davis? No concerns?

    • Avid Reader 1 says:

      Hear, Hear! Mr. Jacobsen. I support you. (Hasso: You just got called a hack! Ha! I thought you didn’t allow insults in your blog…that’s what you told me when you edited me.)

  3. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    As a transitioning progressive in stage 3 (new beginning), I must say the Oregon Plan is not aggressive enough.

    The Green New Deal would make more progress towards eliminating fossil fuel dependence in 10 years. Bernie, Cory, ACO, and eWarren (American Indian) are on board. Scientists say it is necessary.

    The same economy that has created income equality, wage stagnation, and rising sea levels is the economy that is built on fossil fuels.

    I’m not sure how Peter will make it home to do his townhall’s in 10 years, but I’m certain he has a plan.

    • HowlingCicada says:

      If Elizabeth Warren is nominated, Trump (with his mountain of baggage and lies) will beat her just by yelling “Pocahontas” often enough.

      Is it just America that is overrun by blithering idiots, or is the whole human race doomed?

      Please note that this is not a judgment on the substance of any candidate’s politics, just on style and the way we (Americans) tend to respond.

      • David Ballard says:

        I agree with you that Trump’s style of politics is lacking, but the substance of his politics seem to be quite effective. I did not vote for Donald J. Trump in the 2016 election but this character seems to be the right man for the job judging by his performance. Assuming he remains a viable candidate, I will likely vote to re-elect him in 2020.

        • Bryan says:

          Exactly. I didnt vote for him either, but would now.
          The left is so far left now that you just have to fight crazy with crazy.

          “When the people find that they can vote themselves money that will herald the end of the republic.”

  4. KJ Ullfers says:

    And you’re surprised why? As to the one room shack burning wood….are you kidding? I thought it was against the law to cut tree’s and then putting that smoke into the air??

    • Bob Woods says:

      Never has been, and isn’t. against the law.

      • David Ballard says:

        That is because wood is a renewable resource.

      • Bill Kapaun says:

        Eugene has wood burning restrictions on occasion.
        ERGO: You’re full of it again.

        • Bob Woods says:

          From Oregon DEQ:

          “In the winter, DEQ issues advisories for particulate matter, for any area of the state when cold temperatures and stagnant air cause particle pollution levels to rise. Many local jurisdictions issue wood-burning restrictions in the winter, limiting the use of wood stoves, fireplaces and outdoor fire pits. There are often exceptions for those who use wood exclusively to heat their homes and those with limited income. Check with your local heath or air agency for current restrictions”

  5. Skilcraft Socialist says:

    Actually these neoliberal regulations don’t go nearly far enough. Punishing consumers since the actual polluters are untouchable.

    That you are complaining about climate action while saying “imagine what life will be like in 30 years” is just too ironic though. If we’re still using fossil fuels at the current level in 30 years we’re all doomed.

  6. Bryan says:

    You’d have to be a real moron to support this. You think any company would pay for the “allowances”? No, they would just move out of the state and take the jobs with them. Use your head people. Support global change that could actually have an affect on the problem.

  7. Gary Hanson says:

    While contemplating life under the “carbon tsars”, I am wondering how many acres of land will be taken up with solar arrays? Anybody calculated this?

  8. LARRY MARTELL says:

    Socialism at it finest ….

  9. Bob Woods says:

    Folks, wake up. The effects of climate change are real. The science is sound.

    The heat absorptive properties of Carbon Dioxide were first shown in the 19th century. It’s nothing new. Oxygen and Nitrogen do not absorb radiated heat. Carbon dioxide does.

    What IS new is the amount of energy being pushed into the atmosphere from human processes, which have increased exponentially since the 1700’s.

    The world population estimate for 1700 was 600 million to 680 million. For 2018 it was 7.7 billion.

    From Wikipedia:

    “In demographics, the world population is the total number of humans currently living, and was estimated to have reached 7.7 billion people as of November 2018. It took over 200,000 years of human history for the world’s population to reach 1 billion; and only 200 years more to reach 7 billion.”

    That change is INEVITABLY going to put more heat energy into the atmosphere.

    • Bryan says:

      No matter how you feel about climate change, this bill is a poorly thought out attempt at a solution.

    • Gordon L. Shadle says:

      Why is Oregon planning for 2050 when the world is going to end in 12 years?

      Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said it, so it must be true.

      Her Green New Deal is the only answer, no matter the cost. “This is war.”

    • David Ballard says:

      “The effects of climate change are real. The science is sound.”

      This is no doubt true. But might there be some positive outcomes as a result? For instance, maybe there will be a longer growing season for our Canadian neighbors to the north?

  10. A. Wilson says:

    I would hope that in 30 years time, there are energy alternatives to fossil fuels. This should be the push we need to cut the cord. The Earth’s climate is warming, there is no doubt. We need to take these actions now so the generations behind us will have a habitable planet. Open your eyes and look beyond your pocketbook. Stop thinking things are static, we need progress in the energy arena, not status quo.

    • David Ballard says:

      The suggestion that a few degrees warming of the atmosphere will make the planet uninhabitable seems alarmist. No doubt challenges will be presented, such as rising seas resculpting of coastlines and other issues to solve. Hypothesizing the death of the planet and its inhabitants seems a bit extreme.

  11. Suzanne Driver says:

    Maybe we should have the people of the lState of Oregon have a vote on this. I hate things stuffed down our throats.

  12. Sue says:

    Maybe we should have the people of the State of Oregon have a vote on this. I hate things stuffed down our throats.

  13. thomas cordier says:

    B’S. the science is sound. The models have predicted much higher temps of earth than actual for the last 30 years. The earth has warmed <1deg C in past 100 years. Predictions are all hype.
    Google Mark Levin's interview with Dr. Patrick Michaels "truth about global warming. The proposed legislation is all about money. Put money into carbon credits and don’t pay taxes.

  14. Bob Zybach says:

    I can see that Wikipedia is being quoted for its “science” value in at least one of the comments. I have studied western Oregon forest and fire history — including climate –for more than 40 years and can say with some certainty is that it has been about the same now as for the past 500 years. Certainly no discernible or measurable change during my lifetime over the past 70 years, and unlikely to change much — no matter the tax — for the foreseeable future.

    If this tax is put in place it will mostly affect poor people and lower income people and have absolutely no (“zero”) effect on global or local climate. None. Even the Democrats know that to be true. Bureaucrats and PERS recipients will be happy, though, and people with hysterical fears of the future will have to find another doomsday surrogate. Not sure if Global Warming is a hoax, but it certainly has attained the stature of “racket.” In my opinion.

  15. HowlingCicada says:

    I’m not a scientist, and I don’t have the time (and possibly not the skill) to wade through the evidence. So, all I can go on (for now) is the credibility of those I trust. To make a long story short, I believe the problem is real and we need to act.

    “””… the law caps emissions at the level of the last three years, then lowers the permitted level each year. The main producers of fuel and energy would be allowed to buy, at auction, “allowances” so they could stay in business.”””

    “Cap and trade” is the wrong way. It creates new bureaucracies, new opportunities for parasitic “middlemen,” and uncertainty for business. The better way is to directly tax all harmful emissions at a rate which is predictable and not ruinous, but enough to cause real change in consumer and business behavior. It could be revenue-neutral (reducing income tax) or used to help with the PERS disaster – that’s a different debate. Most importantly, it preserves the freedom of red-meat-eating motorheads to continue their ways if they pay the true cost of their actions.

  16. Ken Walter says:

    It’s funny we should suffer financially only to see gains offset by one big forest fire, or the rise in use in the third world. Is a climate model now confirmed science? You get the science you pay for. Throwing the baby out with the bath water seems radical considering people hide their conflicts of interest. Follow the money is all I’m sayin.

  17. Ms J says:

    I finished a book last week entitled “The Weather Makers – How Man is Changing the Climate and What it Means for Life on Earth” by Tim Flannery.

    It was written in 2005 describing human-caused climate change and the drastic effects it produces.

    If you can make it through some of the more slow passages in the book, any denial of human-caused climate change may convince you otherwise, it did for me.

    The author has since followed up with a sequel called “Atmosphere of Hope – Searching for Solutions to the Climate Crisis” written 10 years later in 2015.

    Haven’t read it yet, but the first chapter is “The Weather Makers – Right or Wrong?”
    Should be an interesting read.

  18. ean says:

    I think a tax and dividend program on the federal level is the only real way to address this very serious issue. On a state level it is too easy for companies to relocate. On the federal level the government can levy tariffs on imports from countries that do not tax carbon so that it is a level playing field and companies won’t save money by relocating. The tax and dividend program would really unleash the innovation of the free market. Time to get our best and brightest working on the problem. Or I guess we could take a fatalist approach like Hasso does and say screw the young people I already got mine.

  19. David says:

    Ride your bike!

  20. Scott Bruslind says:

    We have 2 models to review, should we entertain to self-impose some discipline in our energy use profligacy.

    1) California’s Cap and Trade-

    2) British Columbia’s (Canada) carbon tax.

    Oregon is following California’s lead with the Cap and Trade model.
    Because, it’s not a tax. Taxing is no easy matter under Oregon’s constitution.
    Rather, Cap and Trade is a contrived marketplace, a carbon-effluent stock market, if you will; once proposed by non other than that liberal scalawag George Herbert Walker Bush (RIP), our 41st POTUS.
    “Unleash the power of the marketplace to innovate,” was the mantra, then as now.

    Washington State made the mistake of trying direct democracy to impose a carbon tax last year with I732, flaming to defeat.

    Doug Ford, premier of Ontario (Canada), and brother to the once colorful and now late Rob Ford, has denounced Canada’s Federal imposition of a national carbon tax as certain to cause an economic recession.

    So, Mr.’s Lindsey and Hering are not alone, but are quite likely to be on the wrong side of the angels and history on this one.

    “British Columbia, which has had a carbon tax for over a decade, has had the strongest economic growth in Canada over the last several years. Furthermore, B.C.’s tax is $35 per tonne; higher than the $20 per tonne that will be applied in Ontario under the federal backstop. The vast majority of the money raised has been returned to B.C. residents as tax cuts or rebates. The federal plan will also return all funds raised as rebates.”

    OK, so no tax, which really is simpler and more efficient. It’s Cap and Trade for us.

    Will there be a new state bureaucracy? Inevitably. Just like the Oregon Lottery Commission, which manages a tax on the math impaired.

    Smart money is to encourage the newly elected Rep. Boshart-Davis to get herself in the back room where the deals are being cut, and put the Millersburg reloading project as a model of the new climate-change economy. It’s already well along, and Cap and Trade credits might save Linn County the potential $250,000 obligation put up by Mr. Lindsey, et al. to cover operating shortfalls if the reloading volume doesn’t pan out (rhymes with Expo Center.)
    It will be something she and the Linn County Commissioners can rightly take carbon credit for.

  21. William Strohlein says:

    Noble concept,…. but this plan would be conceived and implemented regarding a complex economy, by the same organization that planned PERS financial commitments, and puts at risk, with many unintended consequences , the population of a state of several million citizens , while we would SURELY influence the rest of our nation, as well as China , India, Soviet Union and Africa, to stop the future use of fossil fuels to enhance the lives of their populations. Let me think about that.

  22. Ray Kopczynski says:

    “…while we would SURELY influence the rest of our nation, as well as China , India, Soviet Union and Africa, to stop the future use of fossil fuels to enhance the lives of their populations. Let me think about that.”

    So the solution to the problem is to sit on our hands with our heads in the sand, do nothing, and pretend the problem will go away? Just as we became acclimatized [pun intended] to recycling, we will to this also. Doing nothing is not an option IMO.

  23. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    Eliminate cow farts. Eat mor chikin.

  24. Avid Reader 1 says:

    Oh My God! Hasso, I can’t believe how right-wing and closed-minded you are.
    I hope your children and grandchildren take after your wife’s side of the family.

    • Bryan says:

      You’re still here? What happened to your new years resolution?

    • Al Nyman says:

      If you believe Hasso is right-wing and closed-minded, what does that make you. Obviously a left-wing liberal with limited intelligence much like your hero Ocasio-Cortez who is a complete loon.

  25. Rhea Graham says:

    They wouldn’t need to be doing any of this if they would stop spraying and whiting out our sky on the daily. How many of you look up and see it? That is what is causing the colorful sunrises and sunsets everyone is so fond of. They are killing all the trees, birds, bugs, and more… (humans)

    • David Ballard says:

      “They are killing all the trees, birds, bugs, and more… (humans)”

      No too effective in the elimination of at least one of the groups on your list, (humans), as according to the most recent United Nations estimates elaborated by Worldometers the global human population is very nearly reaching the 7.7 billion mark.

      To whom do you attribute the “… spraying and whiting out our sky on the daily”? And of what does this consist? This is all new to me.

    • HowlingCicada says:

      I look up and don’t see it, at least 99.9% of the time. About ten years ago I saw something that could only be described as a “chemtrail” – not enough evidence that there’s a vast conspiracy to control the weather, etc.

    • GregB says:

      What in the world are you talking about Rhea?

  26. Don says:

    Have you all looked at the info of what is in the caves outside of Anchorage in the permafrost?
    Did man cause the mini ice age in the early 1800’s

    • centrist says:

      There’s a current theory that lack of human activity was a major player. Many indigenous peoples cleared land with fire. Europeans brought diseases the killed enough indigenes that burning stopped and flora grew. The effect was decreased CO2 and increased O2, which caused global cooling.
      That’s the story…..


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