Letter to Editor by Louise Shawkat, Medford Mail Tribune, August 10, 2019

Big polluters should pay for the harm they inflict on Oregon!

HB 2020 contained pollution limits to ensure overall reduction and protect public health. It invested in rural and coastal Oregon to bridge the transition from fossil fuels to a renewable energy economy; it included rebates for fuel users who suffer a price rise due to bill requirements. By capping emissions and annually reducing that cap the proposal ensured reduction in statewide climate pollution. The bill protected public health, the environment, and preserved the future for our kids and grandkids.



Guest Opinion by Pam Marsh and Karin Power,  Oregonian, August 7, 2019

Climate change is the greatest crisis of our lifetime and has understandably created immense fear across our state.

We represent communities hundreds of miles apart, both rural and urban, and have heard this fear firsthand. Supporters of reducing our state’s greenhouse gas emissions fear that delay has already put us too far behind in the fight against climate change. Opponents fear the reality of having to pay for their pollution. Rural Oregonians fear the consequences of all these changes on their way of life.



Guest Opinion by Rep Pam Marsh, Medford Mail Tribune, August 4th 2019

AQI 134: Unhealthy for sensitive groups.

I’m looking at this dispiriting air quality index reading for Ashland at 11 AM on Tuesday, July 30. The Applegate and Medford are worse: 157 and 160, i.e. unhealthy. By the time you read this, I hope you are seeing better numbers.

Actually, the word “hope” is not nearly strong enough. I have been hearing from many neighbors and friends for the past five days, since smoke from the Milepost 97 fire reached us last Thursday evening. They have expressed their feelings: fear, despair, and anger for starters. They want relief from the toxic overcast. They want to know who to blame.


Tim Palmer, op-ed Eugene Register Guard, July 25, 2019.

Senators representing rural Oregonians walked off the job in June to prevent the state from addressing global warming. Claiming to act in the interest of their constituents, they did exactly the opposite.

Rural Oregonians — and I am one, in a county three hours southwest of Eugene — stand on the front line of damage from climate change. We will suffer the worst from state inaction. Red is the correct color to politically describe rural Oregon, and it’s also the right color to symbolize the effects that a hotter climate is causing.




Letter To Editor by Alan Journet, Ashland Daily Tidings, July 17th, 2019; also in Eugene Register Guard 07/16/2019, Douglas County News & review 07/17/2019,  La Grande Observer 07/22/2019, Medford Mail Tribune,  07/22/2019

Discussion of HB 2020 in the Oregon Senate was thwarted when Republicans walked out, claiming that their concerns and proposals had been ignored. Prominent among the runaway Republicans was Sen. Cliff Bentz, R-Ontario, himself a member of the Joint Committee developing HB 2020.


Letter to Editor, Ashland Daily Tidings, July 9, 2019; also appearing in Medford Mail Tribune, July 8, 2019

Senate Republicans ran from their jobs two times this session and welcomed Bundy-style militia support to protect them in their delinquency! Cold-blooded Sen. Boquist (R-Dallas) even insinuated they would shoot state troopers attempting to return him to work.

HB2020 took years to develop. During this time, Republicans were as involved as they wanted to be, they were consistently completely disengaged obstacles to progress.


Circulated following the end of the 2019 Oregon Legislative Session

Southern Oregonians concerned about global warming and its climate chaos consequences have spent years helping Oregon legislators develop legislation proposing a program that would drive meaningful greenhouse gas emissions reduction in the state. In collaboration with a statewide coalition composed of climate/environmental activists, labor, social justice representatives, and representatives of both parties serving on the Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction HB2020 was developed.  We were disappointed to find that HB2020, proposing an Oregon Climate Action Program designed to reduce statewide emissions and invest in our economy, was thwarted in the Oregon Senate. This was apparently achieved on the basis of lies and misinformation about the potential impact of the program on working Oregonians, especially rural residents. As rural Oregonians ourselves, we are well aware that climate chaos driven by human-induced climate pollution is destroying our forests and compromising our agriculture and forestry. In short, climate chaos threatens our economy, our way of life, and the future for our children and grandchildren.

We were delighted, therefore, to support a bill moving through the legislature that not only placed our state on a trajectory of meaningful emissions reductions, but also provided funds that were earmarked for investment in rural Oregon to stimulate our transition from a fossil fuel to a renewable energy economy. While opponents of the legislation attempted to frame the proposal as an urban vs rural Oregonian conflict, the rural Oregonians of SOCAN know better. Indeed, a substantial proportion of the funds raised are earmarked for rural and coastal Oregon. Protecting low-income Oregonians from rate increases blamed on the greenhouse gas emissions reduction program, the program also provides free emissions allowances for utilities. Furthermore, to protect us from rate increases blamed on the greenhouse gas emissions reduction program a rebate was included for users who suffer a fuel price rise due to bill requirements. In addition, the program offers investments in agriculture and forestry practices that promote sequestration of carbon and offers funds to promote forest health.

Funded by corporate interests, opponents of the proposal totally failed to acknowledge the extent to which the proposal would support the Oregon economy and ignored the economic study that projected greater economic growth for Oregon with HB2020 than without it. Rather, they relied heavily on a three year-old commentary of a different bill that lacked many of the components of HB2020.

Whether the proposal was ultimately stymied by Runaway Republicans who bought into the lies and misinformation and left Oregon rather than doing the job of governing the state to which they were elected, or by wavering Democrats who were similarly influenced by the corporate campaign is unclear. Regardless of the cause, SOCAN encourages our elected officials, from the Governor through the House and Senate not to throw our children and grandchildren under the oncoming bus of climate chaos. Especially, we congratulate Governor Brown for taking a forceful lead in keeping up the fight for a meaningful greenhouse gas emissions reduction program in Oregon, and urge her to use her Executive Authority to best advantage to take us forward.

Letter to Editor by Bruce Bauer, June 23 2019,  Medford Mail Tribune

More biased nonsense on Pembina’s Jordan Cove project appears in the Mail Tribune (June 16). Without a word of query, Vicki Aldous reports the standard deceptions promoted by Pembina:



Letter to Editor by June 25 2019, Medford Mail Tribune

In 2018, Oregon voters sent Republicans a clear message. By returning Democratic super-majorities to both chambers, Oregon voters indicated they do not judge that Republicans represent them and elected Democrats instead.



Letter to Editor by Lee Lull, Medford Mail Tribune, June 21, 2019

Our world teeters on the edge of crisis in so many ways today, but global warming and all the threats to life it engenders is the most urgent. We are in fact speeding our way to extinction.