Response to recent spate of editorials in The Observer attempting to show Oregon’s cap-and-trade bill in a bad light. You highlight consideration of major legislation in a short session, complexity of bill with implications of huge impacts (giving a sense that all are negative) to Oregonians, uncertainties of potential revenue distribution, possibility of a wrong decision, and you add that voters deserve better.
It has been my experience that major pieces of legislation are brought forward in response to serious issues that demand effective and urgent action (we have used fossil fuels for many years; why the problem now and how bad could it be?). I could not agree more with your sentiment that voters deserve better: I feel the voters in Northeast Oregon deserve to have these issues explained and discussed in a public forum so that we may be fully informed and able to provide effective input to our elected officials.
This cap-and-trade bill has been in development for more than a decade with many talented legislators and stakeholders giving it their best efforts. No one expects a perfect bill, and science tells us it is urgent and important to show a willingness to confront the issues associated with climate change and potential impacts. Unintended consequences and inequalities resulting from implementation of this bill can be corrected as needed.
In light of our common interest to have informed voters, I would ask that your paper join with me in requesting state Sen. Bill Hansell arrange a few public meetings around his district specifically to inform voters on this important piece of legislation.