Media slams county on $52B heat wave lawsuit

By Taxpayers Association of Oregon

Multnomah County is trying to shift the blame for botching their efforts during the recent 2021 heat wave, by suing oil companies for $52 billion dollars.

Don’t forget that during this heat wave in which over 500 people died in three states, Oregon’s Governor was spending all day at a fancy wine retreat fundraiser.

Also the County was faulted for creating a heat wave hotline but failed to properly get the word out so people could use it. More than 750 calls that were made were never answered.

The Oregonian Editorial Board chimed in by saying “Multnomah County’s lawsuit filing does not count as governance”

The Oregonian further stated, “Despite forecasts warning of intense heat, Multnomah County opened only five of its 19 neighborhood libraries – the free, air-conditioned refuges that residents often seek to escape summer temperatures – at the start of the heat wave…”.  This came after the County pushed voters to approve a massive $300 million library tax bond the year prior.   The County got its flush of library cash, hoarded its air conditioned empty libraries for itself and then proceeds to blame evil oil companies for the local deaths that the County bears some responsibility for.

Also at the time, many government recreation areas were closed to the public.  The Portland Tribune reported (7/21/21), “An inquiry days before the deadly, late June heat wave underscored that Portland Parks & Recreation has still not reopened the community and arts centers closed because COVID-19, even though the City Council approved a $22 million loan to restart parks programs five months ago. Most of the centers are air conditioned and could have provided relief during the triple-digit temperatures suspected of killing 71 people in Multnomah County.”

So neither Multnomah County or Portland wanted to open their air conditioned public recreation buildings to house heat wave victims.   And Governor Brown was found absent.

Portland ranks among the bottom cities for air conditioning availability, in part, because environmentalists push people against using them.

After the 2021 heat crisis, local politicians vowed to help next time by pledging to provide air conditioners for people.  But by the next heat wave the following summer, the program was delayed.   The Oregonian reports, “Separately, the city’s new voter-approved clean energy program had millions of dollars on hand at the start of the year to buy thousands of energy-efficient cooling units but only finalized agreements with its local nonprofit distribution partners in May. And they in turn were extremely slow to roll out delivery of the units until this month.The program’s leaders delayed adding Home Forward as a distributor until early July, after temperatures reached 99 degrees the last weekend in June.”

So Oregon politicians have been faulted for being negligent BEFORE the heat wave, negligent DURING the heat wave, and negligent now AFTER the heat wave. Yet, they blame oil companies for their failure.


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