Right From the Start
By Larry Huss,
Monday’s Eugene Register Guard carried an article about the new biogas power plant just north of Eugene. Apparently it is mired in a controversy between its former CEO and its primary shareholder. But the real story is not the “cat fight” between the parties. That fight is just about money and it isn’t even “their” money they are fighting about.
The real story here is about abuse of taxpayers funds, about another version of an unsustainable “green dream” and about customers being forced into uneconomic choices. For those of you uninitiated in the newest rage in “sustainable” energy, a biogas project basically gathers methane gas generated by rotting food and burns that methane to generate electricity – it’s just a step up from the wags who complained about cows emitting methane and urged that they be enclosed and the gas trapped and used as an “alternative” fuel. But more about the quality of that process later. Continue reading
by Dan Lucas
Imagine every government fleet in Oregon had vehicles that only got 4 miles per gallon (MPG), and that on average private sector fleets had vehicles that got 22 MPG. Assuming an average of 12,000 miles driven per year and around $3 per gallon of gas, that would mean that each government vehicle costs $7,400 more per year to operate. And all of those tax dollars would be just be being poured down gas tanks — not going towards hiring more teachers or police officers.
For every 8 government vehicles that got replaced with vehicles with the private sector fuel efficiency in this example, we would be able to hire one additional teacher or police officer — assuming an average payroll cost of $60,000. Continue reading
by Lars Larson
You might think that Friday afternoon document dumps only work for the President and his cronies in DC. But look how well the strategy works for Governor John Kitzhaber and his fiancé, Cylvia Hayes.
Questions arose before the election about Hayes running her private business literally out of the Governor’s office and peddling influence because she has, let’s say, the EAR of John Kitzhaber. The governor stalled the release of public records requested by Willamette Week until LAST week…emails between Hayes and a 60-thousand dollar a year state employee who has been doing her bidding for years. Continue reading
By Steve Buckstein
In November, Beaverton, Gresham, Hillsboro, and Tigard joined Vancouver, Washington in welcoming ridesharing juggernaut Uber to operate legally in their cities. A week ago, Uber began operating in Portland without permission, in effect daring the authorities to stop it. While the City immediately issued a cease-and-desist order against Uber, more than 11,700 people have signed an online petition asking Mayor Hales to let the company operate in Portland.
Until now, most major cities have granted virtual monopolies to a few taxicab companies on the assumption that government must protect both the livelihoods of drivers and the safety and convenience of passengers within their jurisdictions. But in a truly free economy, we should celebrate the technological innovation that allows people with cars to make money by giving rides to people who want them. Continue reading
Posted in Economy, Employment, Government reform, Government Regulation, Leadership, Portland, Portland Politics, Transportation
Tagged Airbnb, Portland, ridesharing, taxi cartel, taxi regulations, transportation, Uber
by Dan Lucas
Last month’s election further consolidated what the Oregonian’s Steve Duin has called the Democrats’ “near-monopoly on political power” in Oregon. Democrats have returned to super-majority status in the Oregon Senate – an advantage they’ve enjoyed for 3 of the past 5 election cycles. Starting in January they will hold 18 seats to Republicans’ 12 seats.
In the Oregon House, Democrats have moved to within one seat of super-majority status. Dems will hold 35 seats to Republicans’ 25 seats. Continue reading
by Sen. Doug Whitsett
Despite the recent passage of Measure 91 in Oregon’s November general election, state laws allowing the recreational and medicinal use of marijuana are in direct conflict with the Controlled Substances Act that was enacted by Congress in 1970.
When passing that law, Congress determined that marijuana must be listed as a Schedule I drug. It reasoned that the drug has a high potential for abuse, and that acceptable safety standards for its use have not been established.
Our federal elected representatives concluded that the use of marijuana was unsafe, with or without medical supervision. Continue reading
by Dan Lucas
In 1945 the United States and its allies defeated imperialist Japan and NAZI Germany. At great cost and after great sacrifice the Allies stopped these two aggressor nations who had been committing horrific atrocities across the globe — atrocities like the Rape of Nanking and the Holocaust.
Then, based on some hard learned lessons after WW I, the United States committed to rebuild these former totalitarian nations as democracies. We made solid, long-term commitments to these countries and to their neighbors. We demonstrated our commitment with the Marshall Plan, with the Berlin Airlift and with a strong U.S. military presence as a counter balance to Communist Soviet and Chinese expansionist ambitions throughout the Cold War and its proxy “hot wars.” Continue reading