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Hard green questions

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Ben Jacklet
Thursday, June 25, 2009
It’s official. The Metolius is saved — sort of. The huge uproar to block a project to turn a former clearcut into an eco-resort less than a mile from the highway has left me with some tough green questions.

1. If Oregon leads the way in all things green, why couldn’t the legislature pass carbon cap legislation this year?

California did — three years ago. It was supposed to happen in Oregon this session and jump-start the new economy. What happened?

2. On to Portland: If Portland is such a green city, why are there no public recycling bins downtown, only trash cans? And why are those trash cans stuffed full of Styrofoam lunch containers?

Every major city in Europe has recycling bins downtown. Seattle banned Styrofoam lunch containers a year ago, opening up new markets for manufacturers of biodegradable containers. What’s Portland waiting for?

3. Then there’s solar power, recipient of huge windfalls from Oregon taxpayers. If SolarWorld is so convinced solar power is the future, why hasn’t the company installed solar panels on the roof of its Hillsboro manufacturing plant?

They certainly use enough power. Why no solar power?

4. And speaking of rooftops, whatever happened to that hype about eco-roofs and rooftop solar arrays?

Every time I do an interview in a high rise, I look out the window and search for all those eco-roofs and solar panels that have been the next big thing for years. I don’t see them.

What's the deal?
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