By Taxpayers Association of Oregon
Oregon Governor Tina Kotek visited Douglas County and made this comment on homeless people living by the river, “I was checking when I was at the Navigation Center, and quite a few folks had been living out by the river. That’s got to have environmental impact.”
So strange to mention a human tragedy and focus more on the environmental impact.
This reminds me of how Portland banned banned 4th of July sparklers due to carbon issues related to sparkler-led fires, but the City continued to let actually arsonist go free either without criminal conviction or without jail time. The environmental impact from sparklers was more important than the environmental impact from arson. Here was the number of arson incidences during just 10 days in Portland during the riots.
Politicians wanted to expand road access to Oregon’s NBA arena (Moda Center) and hockey arena (Memorial Center) but environmentalists objected by saying an extra off-ramp lane would cause more people to use it and increase traffic and therefore would be … you guessed it … bad for the environment. It didn’t dawn on them that vehicles stuck idling in the current traffic logjams for these arenas is producing the worst pollution. Cars pollute the most when they sit idle, and pollute the least when they actually move. Now the whole project has been delayed by years and estimated costs are already tripling.
The Elliot State Forest was forestland that the State set aside to harvest and regrow to raise money for rural Oregon schools, police, fire and local governments. It lasted nearly 70 years and raised a billion tax dollars as an environmental partnership success story. Until Kotek and other politicians said it wasn’t a success story and that environmental politics was more important than human beings. Taking that money away and other anti-timber laws helped contribute to rural Oregon not being able to protect itself from the international drug cartels and the homeless explosion occurring on their land. Now, the Eliot forest is effectively frozen in time while the rest of rural Oregon is full of drugs, litter, illegal drug farms, crime and massive homeless encampments — the very thing Kotek says is an environmental concern.
The environmental word is often thrown around like a magic word to justify anything. In the case of mass homeless encampments along rivers, it is not about the environment. It is about government allowing people to break the law while subsiding homelessness with government benefits. Add in some drug decriminalization and you have a human disaster.