Month: September 2009

Economic Opportunity Grows with Woody Biomass

Karla Kay EdwardsCascade Commentary

Summary: Woody biomass opportunities abound in rural southern Oregon. With more than 4.25 million acres of timberland that would benefit from hazardous fuel reduction, rural communities also could prosper from the development of a significant biomass industry. (more…)

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Don’t just Blame the Politicians

Steve BucksteinQuickPoint!

[audio:QuickPoint 9-23-09.mp3] Click the play button to hear the audio commentary

The Oregonian ran an editorial this week (Stuck in the middle with you, September 21) bemoaning the fact that the Democrats who control the state legislature “shoved Oregon’s progressive and far-sighted business leaders into a corner” by voting for permanent tax increases. If only the legislators had gone along with the Oregon Business Association’s proposal for temporary tax increases, the editors believe that somehow everything would have worked out just fine on the tax and budget front. (more…)

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Corbett: The Little District That Could

Christina MartinCascade Commentary

Summary: Corbett High School is one of the top 100 public high schools in the U.S. Responding to parents’ demand, Corbett’s superintendent opened a charter school so students can attend Corbett’s public school without braving the bureaucracy of the inter-district transfer system.  (more…)

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Where is Oregon among the 50 Bright Stars?

Christina Martin

To celebrate Constitution Day, Cascade Policy Institute is posting the results of the Goldwater Institute’s report comparing the strength of each state’s constitution to protect freedom and secure limited government. A strong constitution is vital to preserve freedom; however, alone it is not enough. Accordingly, the report also provides a supplemental assessment of each state’s political and judicial culture.

Where did Oregon rank? Comfortably in the middle, with a very low score for poor protections of property rights and a high score for free speech.  Read more about Oregon’s ranking in 50 Bright Stars: An Assessment of Each State’s Constitutional Commitment to Limited Government.

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We Depend On Rural Oregon

Karla Kay EdwardsQuickPoint!

[audio:QuickPoint 9-16-09.mp3] Click the play button to hear the audio commentary

Oregon’s rural economies are based on renewable natural resources susceptible to economic volatility. They are also reliant upon the political will of the urban populations they serve. Unfortunately, there is often a disconnect between people’s emotional response to a natural resource policy question and the impacts those policy decisions will have on both rural communities and urban consumers. (more…)

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Astoria Tea Party Hears from Cascade Policy Institute

Steve in Astoria
On Saturday, September 12, Cascade Policy Institute founder and Senior Policy Analyst Steve Buckstein [center photo] spoke to an enthusiastic crowd of about 80 people from the courthouse steps in Astoria. The event was one of hundreds of such “9-12” events around the country, including a massive rally in Washington, D.C. (more…)

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Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC) HearingReport on Performance of the Oregon Climate TrustTestimony by Todd WynnSeptember 11, 2009

Todd WynnCascade Commentary

Regulatory Issues

I.   The purpose of HB 3283 is not being met and the EFSC monetary offset rate is not being followed.

The purpose of HB 3283 is to regulate and reduce CO2 emissions from regulated facilities by implementing carbon offset projects .
The Climate Trust has never adhered to the monetary offset rate established by the Energy Facility Siting Council, and this has led to a major shortfall in offsets that were paid for by regulated facilities.
The Climate Trust claims that the monetary offset does not provide sufficient funding to offset the amount in excess of the standard. This means HB 3283 and The Climate Trust are not offsetting the carbon dioxide that is required to be offset and is thus failing to meet the intent of HB 3283.
The Climate Trust claims the amount of carbon dioxide in excess of the standard is not being fully offset for two reasons :
1. 20% of the funds received are set aside for the costs of “monitoring, evaluation, administration, and the enforcement of contracts to implement offsets.”
2. “The monetary path rate has not kept pace with market prices”
Click here to read the full report in PDF format

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Testimony of John A. Charles, Jr.Regarding the Portland Streetcar System Concept PlanBefore the Portland City CouncilSeptember 9, 2009

John A. Charles, Jr.Cascade Commentary

The Portland Streetcar System Concept Plan would have been considered cutting-edge in 1909. Unfortunately for rail advocates, this is 2009, and the heyday of streetcars is long over.  The streetcar as a meaningful transport mode will never return to prominence no matter how much the Council tries to subsidize it, because it’s too slow, too expensive, and not flexible enough for people who typically have multiple places to go each day.
Click here to read the full report in PDF format

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Wisdom in the Balance: Adaptive Management on State Forests

Karla Kay EdwardsCascade Commentary

The Oregon State Board of Forestry recently reviewed and revised the 2001 management plans for the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forest. Part of the Northwest Forest Management Plan, these plans call for the use of “adaptive management”: a systematic, rigorous approach for learning from actions taken, improving management and accommodating change. “Adaptive management” has been an environmental mantra for more than two decades. But when it is used to an end that isn’t to environmental activists’ liking, they consider it corrupt decision-making. (more…)

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Corbett: The Little District That Could

Christina MartinQuickPoint!

[audio:QuickPoint 9-9-09.mp3] Click the play button to hear the audio commentary

Corbett’s K-12 public school is so effective that many parents drive from far and wide so their children can attend what is likely the best public school in Oregon. Responding to parents’ demand, Corbett’s superintendant opened a charter school within the public school so students can attend Corbett’s public school without braving the bureaucracy of the inter-district transfer system. (more…)

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