Month: November 2008

Renewable Energy by Choice, Not Force

Todd WynnCascade Commentary

Summary

Existing voluntary green power programs can increase renewable energy generation without forcing unnecessary costs on the entire population. Just as with organic food, customers who value green power can purchase it. Unfortunately, Senate Bill 838 mandates utilities to provide renewable power that 98% of Oregonians currently choose not to purchase. (more…)

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Guiding Principles for Taxation in Oregon

Steve BucksteinCascade Commentary

Summary

With Oregon facing a $1-billion-and-counting budget deficit, the temptation exists for legislators to close the budget gap with tax increases. Before any conversation about raising taxes occurs, however, state officials should first agree to a set of guiding principles of taxation. (more…)

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Tough Times Call for Smart Spending

Cascade Commentary

Summary

Oregon state revenues are now projected to be $1 billion short of paying for existing services in the next biennial budget, and the economic downturn is putting pressure on all levels of government. The State Legislature will be faced with the challenge of satisfying unlimited demands with limited resources. Smart Spending, rather than new taxes, will be one step on the path out of our current crisis. (more…)

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Is Portland Flushing Its Money Away?

Jeff AlanQuickPoint!

In my wildest dreams I never thought I would be writing about the City of Portland designing and patenting a solar powered public toilet, not to mention actually trying to market it.

You may remember that Seattle bought several one-million-dollar public toilets. When they became a haven for drugs and prostitution, Seattle sold them for about $12,000 each, abandoning the project.

Portland thinks it has (more…)

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Oregon Greenhouse Gas Reduction Policies: The Economic and Fiscal Impact Challenges

Many policymakers in Oregon have concluded that global warming is a crisis, that human use of fossil fuels is the primary cause of climate change, and that state policies must be enacted to stabilize the global climate. Because of this, policy initiatives to regulate greenhouse gas emissions are fast becoming a dominant feature of statewide public policy. Oregon has adopted one of the most ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals in the world. (more…)

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Small Scholarships, Great Impact

Kathryn HickokQuickPoint!

Did you know that in the last ten years, over 600 Oregon children have received a “hand up” in their education through a privately funded scholarship program called the Children’s Scholarship Fund-Portland? The program’s mission is to maximize educational opportunity for students from Oregon families whose income is low to moderate.

The Children’s Scholarship Fund-Portland has a ten-year history of demonstrating (more…)

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Cleaning Up Oregon’s Sloppy Voter Registration System

Jeff AlanCascade Commentary

Summary

When Cascade Policy Institute compared the Social Security Master Death List to the state’s voter registration rolls, we found over 1,100 active voters whom the government has reported to be deceased. Oregon’s new Secretary of State should take a hard look at the methods being used to keep voter registrations current and accurate. (more…)

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Wind Power: The “Green” Myth

Todd Wynn
Cascade Commentary

Summary

Wind power is touted as a “green” solution to Oregon?s increasing energy demand. However, as a power source, wind is inconsistent and intermittent, requiring inefficient and costly backup sources. In addition, various negative environmental externalities make wind power far from “environmentally friendly.” (more…)

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Can Transit Agencies Learn to Embrace Car Ownership?

Sreya Sarkar Cascade Commentary

Summary

Cascade Policy Institute submitted an innovative proposal to TriMet to cancel TriMet’s lowest performing bus routes and to use some of the savings to capitalize a loan fund to help finance car ownership for transit-dependent riders displaced by the bus line cancellations. (more…)

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Nuclear Power Can Help Oregon Meet Its Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goals

Todd WynnQuickPoint!

On October 27, 2008, Governor Ted Kulongoski announced his Climate Change Agenda to aggressively mitigate the impacts of global warming and put Oregon on track to achieve his goals of reducing greenhouse gas levels. These goals will be hard to reach without having an energy source that can meet upcoming energy demand and produce emission-free electricity. Nuclear could be that energy source.

Energy consumption in Oregon has (more…)

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