Oregon Senate Dems pass underhanded, hidden gas tax

Jeff Kruse

But wait, it gets worse! The way they did it means Oregonians won’t be able to put it on the ballot, this was something being pushed by Cylvia Hayes, it puts Oregon’s real transportation needs in jeopardy, and the “green jobs” the bill benefits will go to out-of-state corporations!

by Sen. Jeff Kruse (R-Roseburg)

This week the subject is the passage in the Senate of Senate Bill 324, the Low Carbon Fuel Standards bill. It passed on a 17 to 13 vote, with one Democrat joining the Republicans in opposition. Before I get into the substance of the bill let me tell you about the dishonest way this was accomplished. There is clearly a fuel tax in the measure. The amount is yet to be determined, but estimates say it could be anywhere from a nickel to $1.40 a gallon.

They chose to call it a “redistribution” rather than a tax, which allows them to do a couple of other underhanded moves. First, all tax measures require a super majority vote, which they didn’t have. Secondly, because it wasn’t a tax bill, they were able to put an emergency clause on it. The reason emergency clauses (which make the bill effective upon passage) are not allowed on tax measures is simply to allow the public a chance to put it on the ballot. So basically the Senate just passed what could be a significant tax increase and at the same time denied Oregonians their right to appeal.

Another interesting question is why this had to be done in the first couple weeks of the Session as the current program (which has accomplished nothing) doesn’t actually sunset until January. It is well know that this was one of Governor Kitzhaber’s top priorities and his fiancée was deeply involved, but he is now gone.

Of course, we are told this is all about “saving the planet” and creating jobs. As to the environmental issue, I would point out the four days of activity of the volcano in Iceland put more carbon into the atmosphere than all of our reduction efforts for five years, and there are currently 200 active volcanos on the planet. I would also like to point out once again they went from calling it “global warming” to “climate change” simply because we have been in a cooling cycle for a decade. In reality man’s activities pale in comparison to what Mother Nature does with volcanos and fires. I could spend a lot of time debunking what is truly a political agenda, but maybe this is enough for now. I should mention, however, that most of the jobs this legislation could create will not actually be in Oregon.

As bad as all of this is, I haven’t gotten to the worst part yet. We have some real transportation needs in this state. We have a lot of bridges and roads that are in real need of repair. We also know that if we let them deteriorate past a certain point the cost of bringing them back up to standard becomes significantly more expensive. In the current funding formula 50% of the money goes to the state, 30% to counties and 20% to cities. I think this is a fair distribution.

Unfortunately we find ourselves in a situation where the base funding from both state and federal sources does not meet the need. What is being proposed is a gas tax increase that could potentially be six cents over six years. If the distribution on the money was equitable state wide this is probably something I could support. This would, after all, be directly benefiting Oregonians. But if you add this to the unknown level of taxation in SB 324 it becomes another matter as the impact on business and middle income Oregonians could be devastating. Because of the emergency clause on SB 324 the only alternative left to the public would be to refer the transportation package to the ballot, where it would be defeated. In the end we will have done nothing for our roads, but we will have benefitted out of state corporations.

At the beginning of this Session the Democrats, in their agenda press release, said they were going to focus on jobs. I assumed they were talking about jobs in Oregon, but I guess I was wrong.

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Posted by at 09:00 | Posted in Global Warming, Green Energy, OR 78th Legislative Session, Oregon Senate, State Taxes | 58 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • unknown3rdparty

    Are we surprised? Our elected national-level officials are anti-American (look at how often they regularly vote against constitutional principles at https://www.thenewamerican.com/freedomindex) and, apparently, so are our elected state-level officials, given that they pass a bill in such a way so as to prevent citizen action against it.

  • Liberty-or-Death

    In the Name of “Green” let us destroy the “Red, White and Blue”… Let the poor suffer more for they are the ones who cannot afford the rise in cost of living do to product transportation cost…. But Democrats don’t really care about the poor, as long as they can keep their hands in YOUR WALLET…

  • Roland

    I will gladly pay this tax no matter how high it goes. We must save Gaia and this is the best way. Sure, there can be a volcano that leads to warming, or a sunspot cycle so low it leads to cooling, but of this we can be certain. The earth was not warming when everyone rode on horseback. Of this I know. So, when I fill my little 11 gallon tank in my Prius what do I care if it costs 20 bucks or 30 bucks. I know I am doing my part to save Gaia and that makes me pretty happy. So happy I can do without the money this powerful disincentive to destruction of the earth will cost me and everyone else. Of course, you idiots in the giant Yukons will pay out the arse, but so be it, as that is your choice to drive a monster that nobody needs or wants. Your choice, so you pay. I like it that way.

    • CherryAnn1000

      Gaia??? Oh please. The earth is the earth, created by God, to have seasons/climates that ebb and flow with each year. Global warming/climate change has been debunked every which way from Sunday, and yet we still have people like you squawking about saving the earth. The earth is pretty resilient, I think. After all, God made it.

      • Eric Blair

        LOL. AGW has been debunked by everything except science.

        • thevillageidiot
          • Eric Blair

            A petition is not the same thing as the science.

            Having a Ph.D. does not make you an expert in climate science.

            The science has not been debunked – by any stretch of the imagination. How many climate scientists accept AGW versus how many don’t?

            For that matter, how many Ph.D’s accept AGW versus how many don’t?

            You are going to lose the numbers game.

          • MrBill

            Numbers aren’t all that matter. The history of science is full of instances where the majority have believed things that were later dis-proven.

          • Eric Blair

            And history is filled with even more examples where the majority was right.

            Numbers aren’t all that matter, but that is the big take-away from the site provided by villageidiot. I was only pointing out that if you go by numbers, which seems to be what that site was doing, then the deniers lose.

            The resistance to AGW is not based on science … and yes, there is always the possibility that the current science could be wrong – but that determination will come from the process of science not the political posturing and cherry picking of data and comments that come from the deniers.

          • MrBill

            Resistance to AGW is based on the fact that we’re being asked to accept projections decades and even centuries into the future, based on the output of models that are still having trouble predicting the present. Based on these projections, we’re being asked to pay large sums of money, like a possible $1/gallon gas tax, to fund things that are unlikely to have any significant impact.

            There’s something wrong with this picture.

          • Eric Blair

            And yet climate models are more accurate than they are given credit for.. especially if one listens the the deniers.

            While the “when effects will happen” is in question, the “will the effects happen” is not.


            But, you can agree that the science has not been debunked… correct?

          • MrBill

            Saying the science is not debunked isn’t the same same as saying it’s been confirmed.

            The problem with projecting way into the future (decades and centuries) with any kind of model that’s been developed is that you can end up way off just because errors based on your known factors will propagate with time. And this still doesn’t account for the unknowns. There are any number of things that can happen in the future that can also throw things off that we have no way of knowing. This includes interactions happening today that we be unaware of.

    • Torjan Geece Monkey

      Fie on you, Roland D’Buchs, emanatory from the Al Goreon Favbicatory of left wing lavatory supposition-ism.

  • Dick Winningstad

    Seems like a lawsuit is possible? It is a tax after all.

  • CherryAnn1000

    Has this bill passed the house yet? Since there is not a supermajority in the house, all it has to do is fail with all Reps/Inds voting no and the issue is resolved.

  • Bob Clark

    Would think folks could still try overturning SB 324 by organizing an Initiative Petition, rather than Referendum Petition. The polling is against this administrative blob, and there are some pretty big entities with bucks who could fund such Initiative Petition.

    Also, in the Oregon House you might be able to conjure up 4 rural Democrat representatives to block it, if the 26 GOP reps stick together. Then too, the bargain in the House might be to agree to a more straight forward gasoline tax increase in exchange for killing the SB 324 blob.

    As for AGW, science is really never settled, and someone who says so should be heard with suspicion. Denying is actually a part of the scientific method, as it raises the proof of theory to highest of standards and durability. In mid-evil times, it is said the establishment of Bishops, Kings and Nobility espoused it to be heretic to say the earth is not flat. A few misfit out of step scientists, Deniers of sorts, actually touted the earth as not flat, but more round.

    For Oregon politicos maybe it’s more about selling the green creds to the creative types. But SB 324 seems a rather unbalanced, economically costly approach to selling our green attractiveness to the creative types. Maybe, just spend some advertisement money singing about how green we are here in Oregon; rather than allowing significant sums of monies to leave the Oregon economy to the Midwest and even China as SB 324 would do – that and fuel line corrosion which even the EPA is resistant to do with higher amounts of ethanol in gasoline.

    • Eric Blair

      ” Denying is actually a part of the scientific method, as it raises the proof of theory to highest of standards and durability.”

      The falsification of scientific theories and hypotheses should be as rigorous as the science supporting The theory itself. It should not be fueled by strictly political concerns cherry picking data and statements to make a point. That is simple denial, and there is a difference between denial and falsification.

      As for science never being settled… that is actually not true. Quite a bit of science is settled. The particulars may be up in the air, but the general theory can be settled — such as gravity, or evolution. I think the science is “never settled” argument is frequently used to introduce paralysis. But if you truly believe that science is never settled Bob, are you arguing that science is never of any use? That since it is never finished on any theory, that we simply can never trust the information gleaned?

      LOL.. the argument you provided.. of Kings and Bishops, makes the point directly opposite of what you think it does. AGW deniers are the Kings and Bishops, unwilling to accept the conclusions of the new science and holding on to old and outdated ideas. Notice that you have politicians and religious leaders denying what was shown to them by scientists. How apropos.

      • guest

        Soviet embolism, Eric Blarinski, Lenin in a pall bearing semblances of a fallow empirical to disown.

        • Eric Blair

          you need new material.. stale, old, and boring is what you have now.

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