I support House and Senate Republicans denying the supermajority a quorum during this February Legislative “short” session. The continued condescending attitude by the majority party to those who disagree with them is utterly exhausting. Clearly it reached a breaking point last week when the Republicans began their constitutionally supported protest.
The request was very simple in the February session over the Cap and Trade legislation, remove the emergency clause and refer it to the voters.
First, we were told that this is “too complicated” for voters. Basically, Oregonians are too stupid to get what this bill does. However, listening to the hours of public testimony from last session and this session, the voters are far from stupid. They know very well how this will drive up their energy costs and put rural & blue-collar jobs at risk.
For many of us Oregonians, our jobs are tied into who we are as a person. This legislation admits it will cost jobs. The just transition fund is set up for “workers displaced”. When someone loses their identity as who they were as a worker, we see communities die and substance abuse increase. That’s historically evident from the Spotted Owl era. Is this what the Democrats in Salem really want?
Second, as a farmer the most infuriating fib I am told about Cap and Trade is that agriculture is exempt from the bill. My farm inputs and my crops do not magically get to and from the farm. They arrive and depart via truck, rail and/or barge and despite even my own state representative’s best antidotes there is no current technology that can replace those means of transportation.
Just as we have seen with the Corporate Activity Tax (CAT), those costs are being passed down to the farmer. Our parts invoices now have a line item for CAT. Oregon agriculture operates in a global marketplace. We, the farmers and ranchers, cannot simply pass on our costs on to our consumer. Yet, Portland legislators continually fail to listen to our concerns.
Third, we are now being told that Democrat legislators have bent over backwards to include Republicans’ ideas and added Timber Unity’s proposals into the bill. This is simply false. Timber Unity didn’t ask for the legislature to spend more money on a study or one token tree planting day. They asked for actual actionable items that would sequester carbon immediately and would not cost the taxpayers multi millions of dollars.
I watched Republican legislators time after time bring common sense changes to the bill and get rejected. Even in the Ways and Means hearing on February 24th, Representative David Brock Smith literally did sequestration math for the committee. He laid out how our working and natural lands are already doing the heavy lifting in sequestering anthropogenic carbon emissions. His amendment would have taken this into account and turned Oregon into carbon credit bank for other states. Sadly, his colleagues across the aisle belittled and mocked his ideas. The amendment was rejected.
Also adding Republican concepts in the bill then introducing another bill that usurps the Republican concept is not compromise. That’s manipulating the process and your talking points. The provision that allowed utilities to pass on their costs to consumers was taken out of the original bill but put into another bill that is also waiting on the Senate floor currently.
Rural and working Oregonians are continually talked down to by the Portland elites who seem hellbent on pushing their job killing agenda. I was in a meeting with Governor Kate Brown where she explained her cap & trade “map” to us. I politely told her “That’s nice but I still live in the area where cap & trade is proposed even though people in Eugene think I live in the middle of nowhere.” I got met with a blank smile and a “Oh I understand”.
If Portland and Eugene legislators actually understood as much as they say “I understand” we would still have a quorum in Salem.
As a 5th generation farmer and a rural Oregonian, I am tired of being patted on the head and fed false empathy. I am grateful Republican legislators not just listened and understood but took action against the bullies in Salem.
SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR THE HOUSE AND SENATE REPUBLICANS!
- Show up today at the Capitol before the 1 PM House Rules hearing to show support.
- Write letters to your local papers sharing your support
- Write the legislators and tell them thank you!