Jeff Kruse

MARCH 31, 2017




We have finished two months of this Session and in theory we have a little over three months left.  One might expect there to be more activity than there currently is, but that isn’t the case.  For example, the Senate dealt with 2 bills on the Senate floor today and Monday we will also be dealing with just two bills.  We know there are probably a lot of discussions going on behind closed doors by the majority party, but two months in they are still not willing to share their plan with us.  The one area where there is open, bi-partisan work going on is around transportation.  There are many elements of the plan that I think will be a positive step forward.  What is interesting is the fact many of these elements are relatively the same as provisions in the transportation package we put together two years ago.  Unfortunately, it appears we may run into the same stumbling block we did in 2015, and that is the low carbon fuel standard.


I spent a fair amount of time on this subject two years ago, so at this point I will give a brief refresher on the subject.  It started out as man-made global warming, but became climate change because we have been in a cooling trend for a decade.  I guess what this means is if the temperature is getting warmer or colder, if the rainfall is more or less, or any other measurement you want to come up with, it will always be the fault of human activity.  Of course, they prove their point with “computer modeling”.  Two points about this, first they base their models off very biased data, and second for the last 40 years none of their predictions have come true.  When you add the fact that Oregon has the third cleanest air shed in the nation and human activity in Oregon has no measurable impact on the global climate it does beg the question as to why this is important enough to divert funds from fixing our roads and bridges.


To a degree the answer as to why low carbon is so important can be summed up in one word, PORTLANDIA.  Here is some interesting facts about our atmosphere.  Nitrogen makes up 78% of our air.  Oxygen makes up 21%.  Next is argon at 0.93%.  And finally, there is carbon dioxide at 0.038%.  Keeping in mind the fact there are two oxygen atoms with every carbon atom in carbon dioxide, one can see the amount of carbon in the atmosphere is almost unmeasurable.  And yet this is the issue that has kept us from being able to do the very necessary work on our infrastructure.  Many of us are quite simply not willing to add up to 19 cents to the price of gas to fund out of state corporations, which is exactly what the carbon tax would do.


But the story doesn’t end here.  The Department of Environmental Quality is now proposing “clean air standards” that go so far beyond EPA standards that they could close down all the lumber mills in Oregon.  We are going to do what we can to get them to back off, but time will tell how effective we can be.  It should also be noted DEQ is doing this through administrative rule and not by any action taken by the Legislature.  This points out one of the problems with our system and that is the fact the executive branch of government can, and does many things without the approval of the legislature and we often are powerless to stop them (especially when the executive branch and the legislative majority are of the same party).


I have quit asking myself why things like this happen, because the answer is obvious.  All you must do is follow the money.  This type of action is being driven by the environmental for profit industry and their corporate cronies.  The fact that these types of actions hurt businesses in Oregon does not seem to be a relevant fact.  If you want to know why, just look at who gets campaign contributions from the groups I mentioned.  This sort of activity did not end with Kitzhaber and his girlfriend, it continues unabated even today.




Senator Jeff Kruse

email: I phone: 503-986-1701
address: 900 Court St NE, S-205, Salem, OR, 97301