By Rachel Dawson
Oregon’s Governor Kate Brown responded to the Republican walk-out and end of the 2020 legislative short session by saying that she “will be taking executive action to lower our greenhouse gas emissions.” Brown is also “open to calling a special session if we can ensure it will benefit Oregonians.”
Despite what Brown may believe, executive action is not necessary to lower our state’s greenhouse gas emissions. Oregon residents and businesses are way ahead of the governor and are already cutting emissions in their daily lives. And they’re doing it without heightened government regulation or a burdensome tax.
According to the Oregon Global Warming Commission, per capita emissions have decreased by 22.8% since 1990, and emissions per unit of GDP have dropped by 50.7%.
Source: Oregon Global Warming Commission, 2018 Biennial Report
Additionally, Oregon’s energy use per capita is the lowest it’s been since 1960; and Oregonians have decreased energy consumption per capita by 37% since it peaked in 1972.
Source: Oregon Department of Energy, 2018 Biennial Report
If these trends continue, aggregate GHG emissions will decrease in the future without placing an undue financial burden on rural and low-income residents.
Oregonians, and not Kate Brown, are doing what needs to be done to benefit Oregonians.
Rachel Dawson is a Policy Analyst at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free-market public policy research organization.
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Cascade Policy Institute Asks the Federal Transit Administration to Enforce Light Rail Contracts with TriMet
March 9, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
John A. Charles, Jr.
Portland, OR – Cascade Policy Institute has submitted a letter to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) requesting that the agency enforce contracts with TriMet for three light rail projects: the Yellow Line, the Green Line, and the Orange Line. Each project received substantial federal funding, which came with contractual obligations to provide minimum levels of service. TriMet has not met those obligations.
For both the Yellow and Green Lines, TriMet is supposed to be providing 8 trains per hour during peak periods. Current service on those lines is 4 trains per hour.
For the Orange Line, TriMet is supposed to be providing 6 trains per peak-hour. Current service provides only 4.6 trains per hour.
All three lines are also traveling at slower speeds than promised, and ridership projections have been missed by large margins.
Under FTA policy, the agency is empowered to demand repayment of federal funding if grant recipients fail to meet the terms of funding contracts. In its letter, Cascade Policy Institute is asking that FTA require TriMet to begin operating light rail lines in accordance with grant agreements within six months or begin paying back the federal funding.
Cascade is also requesting that FTA embargo any future funding for the Southwest Corridor Project, until such time as previous light rail projects are in compliance with contracts.
According to John A. Charles, Jr., President of Cascade Policy Institute, “TriMet’s under-performance is not an aberration, it’s a pattern. Since FTA has funded more than half the cost of the total MAX system, FTA should hold TriMet accountable by requiring the district to provide the service that was promised.”
About Cascade Policy Institute:
Founded in 1991, Cascade Policy Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research and educational organization that focuses on state and local issues in Oregon. Cascade’s mission is to develop and promote public policy alternatives that foster individual liberty, personal responsibility, and economic opportunity. For more information, visit cascadepolicy.org.
Click here for PDF version of Cascade’s letter to the FTA: