01 Mar

Can’t hide carbon levels behind Cylvia Hayes

We know one thing about a law requiring energy producers to reduce the carbon levels in their fuels:

It really isn’t about Cylvia Hayes.

Oregon’s former first lady brought down John Kitzhaber’s governorship by taking consulting fees for supporting lower-carbon fuel, at the same time she was using her public role. Republicans say that should freeze the entire issue, and keep Oregon’s low-carbon program from ever taking effect.

Hayes now has her own problems, which are not going to go away. But neither are the problems that Oregon has with global warming, which is already cutting back our snowpack, and could lead us to a thirsty summer.

That’s a problem, whatever happens to Hayes.

The plan that the legislation would set off is not unimaginable. California and British Columbia are already using it. Fuel is a little more expensive there, but nothing like the dollar a gallon that fuel businesses are threatening.

There are a variety of ways to try to cut the amount of carbon going into our air and frying our atmosphere. Maybe somebody in Salem, from either party, has a better idea.

But we can’t freeze all our efforts just to teach Cylvia Hayes a lesson.

Because when the ocean level rises off Seaside, it won’t be her problem.

NOTE: This commentary appeared on KGW-TV, 2/28/15.