Prices, politicians, points of view fuel energy debate

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Saturday, July 01, 2006

A CLEAN POWER REVOLUTION [June] pointed out missed opportunities for Oregon to be a world leader in clean energy but overlooked one of the most promising of all. Removing excess woody biomass from overstocked federal forests would not only restore forest health and habitat and reduce fire danger, it also would provide a source of renewable energy and help revitalize rural economies. Oregon’s governor and two senators have called for such a strategy, and leaders of the Oregon Business Council, the Nature Conservancy, the Oregon departments of energy and forestry and the forest sector are pursuing this. It is an opportunity that should not be missed.

Mike Cloughesy, director of forestry
Oregon Forest Resources Institute, Portland


I was incredibly disappointed and insulted by your letter [FROM THE EDITOR, June]. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I felt like our state business magazine had just been hijacked by a political activist. First of all, to use Europe as a role model for America is incredibly insulting. We set the benchmark in areas of commerce, technology, education, research, exploration and others. Secondly, I’m tired of comments about big, bad SUV’s when many of them get the same gas mileage as minivans. I’ve driven both, and they both got near identical miles to the gallon. So why don’t you have a problem with a minivan? Your negativity and political spin taint your argument. Your agenda is see-through and an incredible turn-off. So much so, I stopped at page 4, your page. Maybe next month I’ll try again and see if I can’t make it past page 4.

Dawn R. Kosinski, CPA
Pleasant Hill


You sound like a liberal from Portland who has all the mass transportation needed to shed your fuel-guzzling automobile [FROM THE EDITOR, June]. However, the folks in the rural parts of Oregon don’t have the luxury of riding a train, bus or other public transportation. But they still help pay for Portland’s public transportation system. There is not enough biofuel to make a dent in our current needs and won’t be in the near future. Our wonderful governor has done nothing to help the situation. Ted Kulongoski wants to enact the California emission control standard in Oregon. The problem is, the fuel in California causes much less fuel mileage in all vehicles, some by as much as four miles per gallon. So the bottom line is they are using more fuel, driving the same amount of miles and putting more pollutants into the air. How is that making clean-energy progress? You sound as though you are on Kulongoski’s re-election committee.

Bill Christie, operations manager
Grange Cooperative Supply Assoc., Central Point


Great editorial in the June issue [FROM THE EDITOR, June]. It is hard to believe that politicians, from their own hand, have become so insignificant, inefficient and ineffective. Yet, they are leaving a huge negative mark on their own land. I think we ought to start charging the politicos a hefty surcharge to drive on the public highways. Perhaps that will spur them into action. Nothing else seems to have done so.

Reed Daugherity, assistant dean
Clatsop Community College, Astoria


Thank you for WHAT PRICE WILL WE PAY? [FROM THE EDITOR, June]. It seems unless we start advertising the effects of peak oil on a massive scale, the message just won’t get through in time to prepare for the economic hit when the petrodollar fails. If we can manage to stop thinking of business success in terms of growth, America will be at a starting point. Unfortunately, our system is only set up for growth. Sustainability is a respectable goal, but when the value of dollars drops, will sustainable products still offer comparable eco-friendly alternatives without charging premiums? If Oregon gets serious and quickly leads the charge with a localized new energy economy, we stand a much better chance of maintaining at least some semblance of modern life through upcoming energy shocks.

Randy White
KPOJ AM 620, Portland


If you want to pay European prices for gas, take your “own hypocritically low-mileage pickup” and move over there [FROM THE EDITOR, June]. There are huge numbers of low- and middle-income people in this country who are being unnecessarily hurt by high fuel prices. The U.S. is floating on an ocean of oil and enormous amounts of natural gas. The “peak oil” situation has been created by people like you who can’t differentiate between Walt Disney and reality and people who make more money by restricting supply and driving up the price. I am in favor of alternative sources of energy. If home-owners would be given enough tax credits to put solar collectors on their houses, most houses in Oregon could heat their water and houses to a large extent by the sun. This would also make people much more independent, and I believe that is why we won’t see a serious push to harness this energy in each house.

Greg Lambert
Prineville

 

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