Fairness should be guide to energy tax reform

Energy thb Fairness should be guide to energy tax reform

by NW Spotlight

As the United States came out of its recent recession, 40 percent of the new jobs created between 2007 and 2012 were energy jobs. This one industry sustains our economy more than any other.

This makes Wednesday’s Senate Finance Committee hearing on reforming our outdated energy tax code all the more important. Our own Sen. Ron Wyden will be among the Senate members speaking, along with industry leaders, analysts and educators. Continue reading

Posted by at 12:52 | Posted in Energy, Taxes, U.S. Senate | 13 Comments

The very real danger of political correctness

Dan Lucas 2012 thb The very real danger of political correctness

by Dan Lucas

England has recently been rocked by a child sexual exploitation scandal. A report released late last month revealed the horrific sexual exploitation of 1,400 children, some as young as 11, over a 16-year period. The report was from an independent inquiry commissioned by the town council of Rotherham, in the north of England. The report actually said the number of 1,400 children was a “conservative estimate.”

In summarizing the problem, the report said “It is hard to describe the appalling nature of the abuse that child victims suffered. They were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten, and intimidated. There were examples of children who had been doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight, threatened with guns, made to witness brutally violent rapes and threatened they would be next if they told anyone. Girls as young as 11 were raped by large numbers of male perpetrators.” Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Crime & Sentencing | 1 Comment

The PUC Is Right: Some Conservation Projects No Longer Make Sense

CascadeNewLogo e1342826659899 The PUC Is Right: Some Conservation Projects No Longer Make SenseThe Energy Trust of Oregon (ETO) is a nonprofit organization funded by taxes imposed on utility ratepayers. Most of the tax money is spent on subsidies for energy conservation programs.

While energy efficiency is a good idea, not all projects pencil out. State law requires that specific measures, such as installing additional attic insulation, be “cost-effective.” That means that installing the measure makes more financial sense over the long term than having the utility simply provide more energy. Projects that are too costly are disallowed. Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Energy | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Seismic retrofit priority: Capitol or at-risk schools?

Sen Doug Whitsett Seismic retrofit priority: Capitol or at risk schools?

by Sen. Doug Whitsett

Legislators are charged with making decisions on behalf of the public. This often involves setting priorities in terms of what best serves the needs of Oregon taxpayers.

Many of the decisions we have to make on the budget-writing Ways and Means Committee, of which I am a member, regard the use of bond funds to pay for infrastructure projects throughout the state.

When the 2015 regular session begins, the State of Oregon will have between $800 and $900 million in available bonding capacity. Plans are already being made on how to spend those dollars, with a variety of competing interests. Continue reading

Posted by at 07:28 | Posted in Oregon Government, Oregon Senate, State Budget | 5 Comments

Completing the metropolitan ring road is a priority

Traffic Completing the metropolitan ring road is a priority

by Ron Swaren

Please note I am not referring to a copy of I-205 placed on Portland’s west side or any Westside Bypass Freeway.  However, when the Columbia River Crossing task force eliminated competitive proposals the central reasoning seemed to be that these were “not in the (I-5) bridge influence area.”

But aside from tearing down the I-5 bridges, wouldn’t we want any supplemental structure to be outside the “influence area?” I’m not talking about Idaho, simply at other points within the Metropolitan area. And there is no good reason to tear those existing bridges down. Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Portland, Transportation | 15 Comments

So-called conservation groups hurting Oregon forests and jobs

forest thb So called conservation groups hurting Oregon forests and jobs

by Bill J. Kluting, concerned Oregonian

So-called conservation groups like Oregon Wild, Cascadia Wildlands, Center for Biological Diversity and other groups are following an agenda. You have to give them “credit” for what they have accomplished in the past and what they look to do in the future.

They have successfully used the federal and state courts to tie the hands of the U.S. Forest Service, BLM, State Forestry Departments and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife – preventing them from ensuring our forests are protected and managed properly. Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Employment, Jobs, Timber | Leave a comment

Are You Better Off Under President Obama?

larryhuss Are You Better Off Under President Obama?

Right From the Start

A little over a year ago I wrote a column in which I declared, facetiously, that I had decided to become a liberal Democrat in the mold of President Barack Obama:

“I have decided to become a Barack Obama Democrat. For years Mr. Obama and his branch of liberalism have scolded me and other conservatives as supporting the rich at the expense of the poor. Despite my protestations and the fact that I give more money to charity in a month than does Vice President Joe Biden in a year I cannot shake the antipathy of the left. Despite my unshakeable belief that the road out of poverty is through job creation rather than welfare, I cannot shake the labels of greed and profiteering cast by the likes of Reps. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Maxine Waters (D-CA). And despite my routine criticism of the public employee unions for greed and avarice at the expense of the taxpayers, I cannot escape the label of being “against working people.”I could live with all of that, but a recent squib in the Wall Street Journal finally showed me the error of my ways. Michael Derby reports:

‘Americans have recovered only 45% of the wealth they lost during the recession, adjusted for inflation, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis estimated. . .‘. . . The bank said data that shows a near complete recovery in total aggregate wealth is misleading. The analysts argue aggregate household net-worth data aren’t adjusted for inflation, population growth or the nature of wealth. They note a lot of the recovery in net worth has been tied to the stock market, thus is concentrated in holdings of wealthy families.’

“Bingo!! There it is. While the recession may have begun under President George W. Bush, the “recovery” is all Mr. Obama’s. All of the major stock market indices have recovered and/or surpassed their pre-recession highs. Wall Street moneychangers and investors like me have increased our net-worths beyond pre-recession levels even when adjusted for inflation. Thank you very much Mr. Obama – the overwhelming campaign contributions given to you have paid off handsomely. (Well, the money changers’ campaign contributions, not mine – there are some things not even a pig will do.)” Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Economy, Employment, Jobs, Liberalism, President Obama | 10 Comments

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