Three of the largest green lobbying groups in Oregon want legislators to kill transportation bill.
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
Three of the largest green lobbying groups in Oregon want legislators to kill a transportation bill being considered that repeals the clean fuels program.
In a joint statement Friday, the Oregon Environmental Council, Oregon League of Conservation Voters and the Pacific Northwest-based Climate Solutions blasted Gov. Kate Brown and a bipartisan group of eight lawmakers for a proposed deal to replace the clean fuels program with other carbon reduction measures.
"The public deserves an opportunity to hear from the Governor and legislative leaders to explain how a closed-door deal serves Oregonians better than the law of the land," the statement reads. "Our legislators need to uphold Oregon's history of fearlessly tackling difficult problems. The Clean Fuels Program should not be repealed."
Brown has to make a deal with Republicans to pass a gas tax because any tax increase requires a three-fifths majority.
Whether the deal happens or falls apart, Brown has problems either way. If she negotiates the repeal of a law she just signed, she risks looking like a flip-flopper and she hands the environmental community's support to anybody who might run against her in next year's gubernatorial primary.
If she fails to secure a gas tax increase, she'll leave undone what she has said is a top priority. Even if she succeeds in negotiating a new gas tax, however, she may enjoy only a temporary victory. That's because gas tax opponents on the right, such as former State Rep. Jeff Kropf (R-Sublimity), have said they will refer any gas tax to the voters.
(SOURCE: Willamette Week)
The coalition of environmental groups did not mince words in their statement.
"This backroom deal amounts to an EZ pass for Big Oil and a toll road for taxpayers. The oil industry is shifting its responsibilities and costs on to taxpayers. Oregonians deserve transparency : an opportunity to hear from the Governor and legislative leaders to explain how a closed-door deal — with no hearings, no input from the public, and negotiated in secret — serves Oregoinans better than the law of the land. Our legislators need to uphold Oregon's history of fearlessly tackling difficult problems," said the statement, jointly issued by the Oregon Environmental Council, the Oregon League of Conservation Voters and Climate Solutions.