Nuclear Fact-Finding Tour of France & DEQ Out of Control Unelected Agency Bureaucrats

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Rep. David Brock Smith

NCSL State Legislative Leaders Nuclear Fact-Finding Tour of France 2022


Last week, I had the privilege to be 1 of 6 Legislators across the country chosen by the National Conference of State Legislatures to attend their NCSL State Legislative Leaders Nuclear Fact-Finding Tour of France 2022. It was an honor to be recognized for my work on Energy, to be selected to attend this tour with well over seven thousand legislators to choose from. We were mainly in Paris, however we did stay two nights in Cherbourg. 

It was quite a trip as you could imagine and very informative. France generates nearly 75% of its power from Nuclear.


Although there was little time for sightseeing, we were able to visit the Normandy American Cemetery and then Omaha Beach. 

It was an incredible experience that I will take with me forever. 


We then had a Tour of Orano la Hague Fuel Recycling Facility which included:

- Dry fuel unloading facility
- Fuel interim storage pool
- Vitrification facility
- UP3 Control room

Fram 1Fram 2

We then had a Tour of Framatome Chalon Facility where they design and build the EPR reactor pressure vessels, EPR steam generator vessels and EPR pressurizers. Massive vessels employing many with great technical skills. Unfortunately there are few pictures within these facilities due to the sensitive work and patents. 


We then met with William D. Magwood, IV, Director-General of the Nuclear Energy Agency. In our discussion, he spoke about his previous role with USDOE and how he assisted in the early funding of our very own NuScale Power, the SMR company created out of Oregon State University. 


We then met with Ambassador Jack Markell, U.S. Representative to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to discuss economic cooperation and opportunities for collaboration and trade. 


Lastly, we went to the US Embassy to meet with staff to discuss various issues and opportunities. 

It was an incredible learning experience for me and will assist my work in the legislature.

DEQ's Ban on Gas/Diesel Vehicles by 2035 is Out of Touch with Reality and in Violation of Separation of Powers

ban gas

Once again, unelected bureaucrats are sidestepping the legislative process and through rules associated with Governor Brown's EO 20-04, an appointed commission for DEQ voted to ban the sale of new gas/diesel-powered cars, light-duty trucks and SUVs by 2035 in Oregon. 

Many of you know that I'm a leader in the Oregon Legislature on Energy and Environment issues, serving as the vice chair of the committee for years, as well as the Co-Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction with former Senator now Congressman Cliff Bentz. We have exposed the democrats climate hypocrisy again and again. We have pushed to gather data for realistic conversations regarding carbon and I have proposed a number of pieces of legislation that could create results, but the democrats refuse to have hearings or discussions because they don't fit into their environmental for profit non-profit agenda of fear. 

Portland is where emissions from vehicles are most concentrated. With bumper to bumper traffic for hours on end. Many individuals drive in Portland for over an hour just to travel a few miles, where we in rural Oregon arguably travel farther while producing less emissions. I  presented one bill in the past that would have increased the EV rebate for low income Oregonians that live in Portland so that they may better afford an electric vehicle. The democrats refused to allow it to even have a hearing to be discussed. 


Before I dive into carbon, I wanted to briefly mention energy. The current path by the majority party in Oregon is putting Oregonians at risk. Pushing everything electric, while demonizing natural gas, diesel and other fuels, is taking away Oregonians energy security. The generation of energy path by the democrats does not exist. The transmission for their path does not exist. And as much as I admire and am grateful for our lineman that restore our power in the lines to our businesses and homes, taking away other sources of heat and transportation is ignorant and shortsighted. Just this morning OregonLive posted this article

"Power out for 1,000s as freezing winds, winter storm bear down on Portland, region"

So according to Oregon democrats, the climate is changing, they say there will be more severe storms and winter weather, but their policies are forcing Oregonians to only be able to rely on electricity for everything, including the ability to drive, heat your home, boil water or cook your food, wash and essentially live any given day, let alone during severe weather and storms. Yes friends, the proverbial marshmallow stick doesn't quite reach the fire when it comes to this attempt at logic. 


As for the carbon conversation, as many of you know, I have been again involved in these areas in the legislature for years, trying to bring common sense to the discussions. As I have reported in the past, we now know that nearly 31 mmt of carbon is sequestered in our forests every year. We know that roughly 8 mmt of carbon is sequestered in our wood products every year from our logging. This means that roughly 2/3rds of the anthropogenic emissions produced by Oregonians living and doing business is sequestered by our forests and their wood products alone. This doesn't include the 2.3 mmt sequestered in just our Oregon grass seed industry, and the list goes on. However, the hypocrisy of some of the environmental community, who files lawsuits on forest management projects, and the lack of action from Oregon democrats, allow millions of metric tons of stored carbon to be released every single year in wildfires that choke our children, seniors and residents of our rural communities. 

As I have stated before, the data is clear. On average in Oregon, 80% of the acres burned from wildfires and the release their stored carbon, occur on federal managed land. Of the 20% acres burned that are on private lands, 15% of those acres burned are from fires coming onto private land from federal managed land. Of the remaining 5% of acres burned on private land, they are kept under 100 acres and most importantly, the burned trees on those private lands are harvested, processed and replanted. 

The federal managed lands however, democrats and their environmental groups file lawsuit after lawsuit to stop any and all post fire harvest. So rather than harvesting that dead tree and storing that carbon in 2x4's to build homes, it's released over the next fifty years as the tree rots in the forest. Further and most importantly, unlike the replanting that occurs on private land, these hundreds of thousand of acres burned on federal land see little to no replanting. Thus, the stored carbon continues to be released while the forest floor fills with brush rather than our carbon sequestrating trees that provide for our communities and their economies.

Yes, that is hypocrisy. 

I will be introducing a number of bills to help address the lack of management of our state and federal timber resources. Over 52% of the land within Oregon is managed by the federal agencies, with well over half of that are federal forest lands. 


Colleagues and I agree - this action by the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission for DEQ is in violation of their authority and separation of powers. Governor Brown's E0 20-04 does not say to ban the sale of gas/diesel powered vehicles, nor does it give this authority to do so to the EQC for DEQ. This action is a direct attack on rural Oregonians. We know that if you want to have carbon reductions, then allow us to manage our timber resources to mitigate wildfire and grow our communities and their economies. 

I have several bills, anticipating this action, that we will be introducing to fight these illegal and erroneous rules adopted by unelected bureaucrats that were produced outside of a transparent public process for Oregonians to engage in.  


In closing, I'll leave you with some quotes I have given you in previous newsletters while working to stop the cap and trade scheme.

"Let us all be very clear, Oregonians emit less than one sixth of one percent (0.14%) of carbon. When the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality Director, Richard Whitman, was asked by me in Committee what impact on global carbon would occur if Oregon were to reduce its’ emissions to zero, he responded, "Representative Brock Smith you are correct. That Oregon's portion of global carbon emissions is, I'll use the word minuscule." When Dr. Philip Mote, Director, Oregon Climate Services and Oregon Climate Change Research Institute was asked by me what the impact would be on the global climate if Oregon were to reduce their emissions to zero, he responded the impact would be, “Imperceptible.”

I agree with my friend and colleague Representative Shelly Boshart David recent comments on this issue, "Proponents know the impacts are ‘imperceptible’ and ‘minuscule’, so they have begun to shift their argument on Oregonians to a “moral and ethical” narrative. I believe we have a moral and ethical obligation to keep our children and working families warm, fed and employed."


I will of course keep you updated on this and other issues that will arise as we move into the 2023 Legislative Session in January. I will continue to bring your voice and values to Salem and fight for the residents and businesses of District 01 and our rural Southwest Oregon communities.

It is a privilege and honor to work for you in the Oregon Legislature. Be Safe and God Bless you, your family, your friends and your neighbors. 


Representative David Brock Smith

Brock Smith Banner

House District 1
Curry, Coos, Douglas and Josephine Counties
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, H-382, Salem, Oregon 97301