The top legislative priority for most Democrats in Salem has passed the Senate and will be up for its first public hearing in the House on Tuesday, February 24th.

SB 324-A, the “low-carbon fuel standard” bill pushed so hard by Cylvia Hayes and former Gov. Kitzhaber, will be reviewed in the House Environment and Energy Committee at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday. In prepared testimony sent to the committee today, Cascade President John A. Charles, Jr. points out that the “carbon intensity” of driving has dropped by 47% since 1975, making SB 324 redundant. Moreover, carbon dioxide is not a real “pollutant” anyway, so there would be no public health benefits to reducing emissions.

If SB 324 passes, it would raise the price of motor fuel by at least 19 cents/gallon, but none of the increase would benefit roads. Only an actual “motor fuel tax” raises money for roads, and Oregon already has a state gas tax of 30 cents/gallon. Legislative leaders hope to also increase that tax, meaning motorists would face two new taxes but receive less than half the benefits.

Cascade supporters are encouraged to contact their state Representative in opposition to this poorly-conceived bill.

Read full testimony here

2 thoughts on “Testimony Regarding SB 324-A, Low-Carbon Fuels Standards

  1. “In prepared testimony sent to the committee today, Cascade President John A. Charles, Jr. points out that the “carbon intensity” of driving has dropped by 47% since 1975, making SB 324 redundant.”

    You are being (too) sly here, as is often the case when people talk about carbon intensity instead of carbon.

    The climate reacts to the total amount of CO2 emitted, not the amount emitted per vehicle-mile. Including all Americans, the total US emissions from vehicles has increased from about 0.95 Gt CO2/yr in 1975 to 1.20 Gt CO2/yr today.

    Even with greater carbon intensity of the US fleet, there are more drivers, driving more miles — per capita miles driven per year is up 55% since the mid-1970s. So our total carbon emitted from driving has risen over 25% since the mid-1970s.

    Another noteable point is that fleet-average CO2 intensity has changed very little since 2000, down only 4% since then. The vast majority of the decrease in CO2 intensity came between 1975 and 1995.

  2. “Moreover, carbon dioxide is not a real “pollutant” anyway, so there would be no public health benefits to reducing emissions.”

    In fact, CO2 has been ruled a pollutant by the Supreme Court, under the Clean Air Act amendments (Mass. v. EPA 2007). The EPA has no choice in the matter.

    The climate change created by CO2 emissions certainly affects health, of both humans and animals. Heat waves, extreme weather, more extreme storms. Ask the people in the Phillipines and the western Pacific if the huge typhoons of recent years has affected their health. Some of them in the Philippines have still not recovered from Hurricane Haiyan.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.Required fields are marked *