Oregon Gov. Kate Brown appears to have taken up the extreme “green,” partisan mantle of her disgraced predecessor, former Gov. John Kitzhaber. Last week, Brown made a speech calling for “state lawmakers to look beyond party affiliation and collaborate on a transportation funding package that would raise new money to unclot roads.” The problem is, as the Oregonian puts it, Brown also expects lawmakers to “play pretend that they all support a recently passed low-carbon-fuel-standard bill that could substantially raise the price of gasoline.”
The reality is that Oregon Democrats—who control both houses of the state Legislature—have already made their decision. And, they’ve picked a pricey fuel mandate—no doubt to please California billionaire and major Democrat benefactor Tom Steyer—rather than a responsible, bi-partisan transportation package that is needed for economic security in the state. The Oregonian,
“Democrats rushed in the current session to pass a bill requiring a reduction in the carbon imprint of Oregon over the next decade – a well-intended, if myopic, measure designed to reduce Oregon’s contribution to climate change but whose real outcomes are unknown, debatable in their value and likely expensive, punishing Oregonians and freight-haulers for whom pump prices matter. A legislative transportation package, meanwhile – calling for the overhaul and expansion of Oregon’s inadequate road infrastructure as well as more development of mass and bicycle transit – would be expensive to taxpayers, too. Both initiatives, however, can’t work at the same time. Problem: It appears lawmakers already have chosen their path, as both houses of the Legislature passed Senate Bill 324, extending the low carbon fuels program. So much for the governor’s admonishment on transportation.”
The Oregonian goes on to call on Brown to “demonstrate real leadership on this issue.” If Brown actually wants a collaborative transportation effort, the only real way to do that is by actually opening a discussion about the fuel mandate. Considering that Democrats already rammed the pricy policy through, that isn’t likely to happen… which means Oregon isn’t likely to get a transportation package that actually solves pressing state needs.
Washington State Democrats are not any different—though they face the obstacle of a Republican-controlled state Senate. Given their way, they would pick a costly, extreme green policy over a responsible transportation package. In fact, that’s exactly what state House Democrats are doing right now.
As Shift reported, the state Senate passed a bi-partisan transportation package more than one month ago. Since then, even with the state Legislature likely going into a special session, House Democrats have refused to act on it. They refuse to accept key compromises—particularly a consumer protection provision designed to protect Washingtonians from Jay Inslee ramming through his costly fuel mandate scheme by executive order.
Like Oregon Democrats, our state’s House Democrats—and Jay Inslee—have exhibited the same unwillingness to move forward with needed transportation solutions if it means losing control over their beloved gas-price raising fuel mandate demanded by Steyer. Like Oregon Democrats, Washington Democrats have the same ideological commitment to extreme green policies, even when the science shows the policies will have no impact on the intended goal.
That’s likely because the same sleazy network of extreme environmental organizations – some funded with the millions Tom Steyer made off his overseas coal investments – that were involved in the stunning corruption that brought about the downfall of Oregon’s Kitzhaber are also hard at work in Washington.