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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

An important message from Onward Oregon

TAKE ACTION TO STRENGTHEN THE WESTERN CLIMATE INITIATIVE

Oregon is part of a groundbreaking regional program: the Western Climate Initiative. The WCI is developing a “cap-and-trade” program to limit greenhouse gas emissions involving seven Western States and three Canadian provinces. We need your help to ensure it’s strong enough to effectively reduce global warming pollution.

The WCI’s proposed cap-and-trade system will limit greenhouse gas emissions from parts of the economy that produce the most of them (like electric utilities). So, to be effective, the cap must include all major sources of carbon emissions. The WCI partners recently agreed to include transportation fuels within the cap; because transportation is responsible for nearly half the region’s greenhouse gas emissions, this was a significant step in the right direction. But unless we speak up now, transportation fuels may be phased in at a later time, after other sectors, making the program less effective. Go to our action web page to send a message to the governor now

Another problem with the proposal involves what are called “allowances.” The cap-and-trade system is based on polluters buying the right to pollute at auction; right now, the WCI would give away 75% of those allowances. Only the remaining 25% would have to be paid for. These percentages need to be flipped. Not only would this reduce emissions, it would provide vital funding for the programs we need to shift to a low carbon economy. These programs include renewable energy research, energy efficiency projects, and green retraining for workers. To take action now go to our action web page

We can already see some of the effects of global climate change right here in Oregon: things like extreme weather events, more frequent forest fires, invasive pest infestations and reduced salmon runs. We’re also likely to see more flooding, ongoing declines in snowpack and lower summer river flows. We need the Western Climate Initiative, and we need it to be strong enough to do the job. Go to our action web page

The Western Climate Initiative is an excellent program that promises to put Oregon and the West at the head of the worldwide movement against climate change. But we have to make sure that it lives up to that promise. Please contact the Governor today and let him know you support the WCI and other measures to prevent climate change. Go to our action web page

Visit our Western Climate Initiative Information Page for more information about this issue.

TAKE ACTION

Take action now! Tell Governor Kulongoski to continue to work to strengthen the Western Climate Initiative. Send an email today! Go to our action web page to send your message now

Thank you,
The Team at Onward Oregon
www.OnwardOregon.org

Something to keep in mind when approached for money for a new bridge in Salem

"$300 million is peanuts in transportation projects."

-- Mark Becktel,
Salem Transportation Services Manager

Well said

Letter to the Editor
July 23, 2008

At first the Statesman Journal "viewpoint" promoting air service looked like just a little harmless civic breast-beating, not unlike that coming from our elected leaders.

But there's this little matter of $5 million-plus of public money to be spent on modernizing the terminal and lengthening the runway.

What we are seeing here is not just the interruption of Delta's Salem air service, to be resumed "when economic conditions ease." We currently are witnessing the demise of commercial air service as Americans have come to know it.

In a few years, most carriers will be gone, regular flights severely curtailed at all airports, many more crucial than Salem. Routine airline travel will be a thing of the past for most people.

It's irresponsible and clueless for our leaders to squander any public funds on resuscitating local air service, an artifact of the petroleum age that has come and will soon be gone. Even worse, if Oregon's future economic plans rely on Salem air service — as the Statesman Journal editors hint — we're in big trouble.

— David A. Beaton, Salem