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|Wednesday, April 24, 2013|
BY SEN. ALAN OLSEN | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR
My name is Alan Olsen, and I am a member of the Oregon Senate, representing District 20. I am also Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. This will be the third legislative session I have served on this committee, and I am still consistently surprised by the type of policy that I see moving through the committee.
Last week the committee voted on two bills to ban legally permitted small-scale mining operations on Oregon's waterways. SB 838 will impose a five-year moratorium on small-scale mining with suction dredge equipment, and SB 401 will declare 14,000 miles of Oregon waterways as "scenic waterways." I voted against both bills for one simple reason; not once during the many hours of public testimony was the committee presented with scientific evidence that the practice of small-scale suction dredge mining is damaging to fish populations or the environment.
The opponents of the bill; including scientists and members of the mining community, provided countless examples of how the practice is environmentally sound and unobtrusive to streams and rivers. The proponents of the bill argued that their "gut instinct" is that the practice must be bad and that Oregon must ban the practice for 5 years in order to determine if their instincts are correct. The majority of my colleagues on the committee must have the same gut instinct because the bill passed.
So there you have it Oregon; your lawmakers have taken it upon themselves to make scientific judgments about things they do not understand so that they can ban an activity they personally disapprove of. The five-year moratorium is a last-ditch effort by the bill's proponents to allow science to catch up with their personal beliefs. The bill calls for a scientific study of the practice's environmental impact to take place during the moratorium.
In the meantime we can say goodbye to small-scale mining in Oregon. Who needs science when you have the Oregon Legislature?
Alan Olsen (R-Canby) is a member of the Oregon State Senate, representing District 20.
Editor's Note: Oregon Business accepts opinion pieces on topics relevant to the state's business community. See Op-Ed submission guidelines here.
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
Founded 12 years ago, Keen Inc. likes to push the envelope, starting with the debut of the “Newport” closed toe sandal in 2003. Since then, the company has opened a factory on Swan Island and a sleek new headquarters in the Pearl District. The brand’s newest offering, UNEEK, is a sandal made from two woven cords and not much more.
Thursday, March 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE
A conversation with Craig Wanichek, president and CEO of Summit Bank.
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN
Damian Smith bets on changing himself — and Portland — through consulting.
Friday, February 27, 2015
PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN
Images from the 2015 celebration of Oregon's great workplaces.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT | OB CONTRIBUTOR
"Shipping containers to Portland is like waiting for a bus that travels once a day."
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
BY TAMSEN LEACHMAN | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
It is important to understand the EEOC’s priorities, and ensure that your leadership understands the shifting expectations of regulators and the heightened standards to which you (and they) may be held.
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