Moving Beyond Symbolism

By John A. Charles, Jr.

Last week Governor Kate Brown gave a speech to Portland activists promising to secure carbon-pricing legislation in next year’s one-month legislative session. A few days later, she met with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and urged him to maintain or expand the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in Southern Oregon.

Clearly, the Governor is getting bad advice about environmental priorities. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant; it’s a beneficial gas that is essential for plant growth. If the Governor continues Oregon’s “war on carbon,” she will impose great costs on the economy with no offsetting benefits.

Similarly, there was no need for the Governor to lobby on behalf of national monument expansion when Oregon already has plenty of federal land in protected status. She should have used her time with Secretary Zinke to argue for improved management of BLM lands in Oregon, including forest thinning and increased timber harvesting. Without active management, all public lands—including parks, wilderness areas and national monuments—will continue to be threatened by Oregon’s top environmental risk: catastrophic wildfires.

Holding photo ops to tell her supporters exactly what they want to hear is not leadership. The Governor needs to get serious about environmental problems.

John A. Charles, Jr. is President and CEO of Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.

  • 我也有过博客,不过那都是很多年前的事情了!

  • Ron Glynn

    Now, Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley have gotten into the act. They have introduced The Merkley-Wyden Wildlands Act to create most untouchable Wilderness Areas on Public Lands. Yee Gads, we already have 47 Wilderness Areas which 98% of Oregonians will never set foot into. Instead of locking up more Public Land into non-use, how about opening up more timber harvesting instead of letting the trees burn up every Summer.

  • SocraticMeathead

    “Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant; it’s a beneficial gas that is essential for plant growth.”
    Carbon dioxide is an important trace element in our atmosphere that most scientists believe is a major contributor to global warming.
    Debating whether it meets a definition of “pollution” or not isn’t really an issue. Some people use that as a fake debate to distract from the issue of global warming.

    • WorthKnowing

      Obama’s EPA sure thought it was important to classify it as a pollution.
      But no one is using to to distract. You made that up. Like much of the phony science that ushered along the dishonest designation.