11 Oregon snow storm Gov’t blunders

By Taxpayers Association of Oregon


#1. Governor Tina Kotek’s 5-day late, lazy State of Emergency.   The winter snow storm knocked out power to 217,000 homes (nation’s #1 worst for January so far) and shut down several cities across Oregon. It took roughly five days later for Governor Kotek to declare a State of Emergency.  Kotek needed to move faster to help give people faster access to Federal help which requires a State of Emergency.

#2. Multnomah County closes warming shelter the day BEFORE freezing rain. KGW-TV Reports, “With Multnomah County closing its warming centers on Wednesday, Thursday’s freezing rain made a difficult situation worse. Homeless people walk in the middle of the street to avoid icy sidewalks.”

#3. Homeowner who tried to get trees removed due to risk, was denied permit, as two of the high-risk trees fell on her house.  Portland makes it very difficult to cut down older trees which are the ones that the highest risk for toppling during a winter storm. (read more)

#4. Multnomah County shut-out their libraries from being used as a safe warming centers. Multnomah County, one of the most expensive library districts in America, and for whom they just raised property taxes for lavish remodels, not only kept people out during Portland’s historic heat wave, but the libraries kept people out from our current winter storm.

#5. Portland won’t help with shelters unless County provides security and 48-hour notice. According to the Willamette Week, Portland will not dedicate any staff resources to help with County warming shelters unless the County provides more security because, you know, Portland de-funded police/Oregon decriminalized drugs and created both a crime wave and drug wave of out-of-control addicts that threaten everyone.  Also, Portland wants a 24-hour notice before any future crisis, because some government employees do not like to be rushed or have their schedule change even if people are dying or being hospitalized in large numbers.

#6.  Lawmakers tried to ban gas generators in 2023, now they look foolish.  During the 2023 Oregon Legislative Session, a bill was drafted to ban gas generators as well as gas lawnmowers and gas leaf blowers.  These devices helped keep from serious harm and helped keep people from draining emergency services which were overloaded during the full week of the winter storm.

#7. Max Light rail fails (again) in the snow.  The Tri-Met Max Light Rail system may look modern and fancy, but its small population of riders means it is heavily subsidized by taxpayers who don’t ride it and, even worse, it is vulnerable to cold temperatures.  The Max Line was was suspended during the cold temperatures because these light rail trains do operate during periods of both very cold or very hot temperatures.  The good thing about buses is that they keep going, and they help move people to places where car drivers can’t.

#8. Government subsidized EV vehicles get big local warning in time of need.  The Portland AAA issued a warning on EV hazards during Portland’s snow storm, “Freezing temperatures and hot weather can significantly reduce the driving range of electric vehicles. New research from AAA reveals that when temperatures dip to 20°F and the HVAC system is used to heat the inside of the vehicle, the average driving range of an EV decreases by 41 percent.” The State of Oregon has spent nearly a quart billion tax dollars building charging stations (they can fail during winter storms) and in giving away lavish hand-puts to wealthy Oregonians to purchase their electric vehicle (average cost over $60,000). This means Oregon politicians are dumping huge sums of tax dollars on people to use more electricity which fails during a winter storm and away from gasoline which helps provide independent power and mobility during a storm.

#9. The natural gas (that lawmakers tried to ban) helped save neighborhoods. We previously reported “Despite natural gas being the saving grace in my neighborhood, liberal politicians in Eugene and Milwaukie are trying to ban installation of natural gas into new homes, so that people will not have it as a choice of heating or as a choice of emergency back-up.    Governor Tina Kotek just installed a natural gas generator into the Governor’s mansion at taxpayers expense — she should be in favor of citizens having the same choice.” 

#10. Government subsidized tank-less water heaters, experience mass failure.  A survey from a top water heater repair businesses showed that nearly 80% of their water heater problem calls during the winter storm were from tank-less water heaters which use less energy (while providing less immediate hot water).   These water heaters are vulnerable to permanent damage during a power outage and often cannot be repaired.  They can also cost nearly four times as much as a conventional water heater.   Sure enough, Oregon offers government financial assistance in buying these over-priced and fragile systems.

#11. PGE’s $6 million-dollar CEO won’t talk to the media. As Lars Larson reported “Nearly a week into this storm and 55-thousand customers still don’t have power (this morning) in the Portland metro…You can bet that PGE’s “six million dollar CEO”, Maria Pope, hasn’t lost HER power…I’ve asked for an interview with Pope and so far, no luck. But in interviews she HAS done she’s all about climate change, zero carbon, pushing renewables…all things that make our power grid LESS reliable, even when there’s NO freezing rain.”

Did we miss any blunder?

If so, email us.

— Email us if you have stories, photos or examples of the above blunders.  It helps.

— We issue this blunder report because we love Oregon and wish our government would work better and by by doing so can save laves.

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