Letter to the editor
I recently read Bill Post's article about the impact that the new transportation package would have on rural Oregon (see "Post says new taxes in 2018 are useless to rural Oregonians" on Page A6 of the Dec. 13 edition of Woodburn Independent). I believe that Mr. Post overlooked many of the benefits that increased electrified transportation offers to everyone.
Electric vehicles on Oregon roads bring benefits to the entire state. The "fuel" for an EV is locally-produced electricity. Oregon doesn't have oil wells or refineries. But we do have a robust electricity grid with hydropower and wind from the Columbia River Gorge. The money spent to charge an EV goes to the local utility company instead of out-of-state multinational oil companies. This allows the utilities to hire more people and maintain their equipment. This helps all Oregonians.
EVs powered by our grid pollute the air far less than gas and diesel vehicles. This keeps our air cleaner. This makes our state cleaner and reduces health care costs for everyone that breathes. This helps all Oregonians.
This summer, my family and I drove our EV to all of the "Seven Wonders of Oregon." We had no problem finding charging stations. The travel distances for EVs is growing each year and the prices are coming down. There are charging stations in John Day, Prairie City, Baker City, and many more parts of rural Oregon. Home charging can be done from any outlet and the 240V outlets charge even faster. Electricity is everywhere in the state, which means anyone in the state can drive an EV. RV parks make a great ad-hoc charging network and they are usually happy to let you plug in for a small fee. As we traveled and charged, we spent money on meals and hotels rather than gasoline. This money went to local businesses and it will circulate in the local regions rather than go to an out-of-state oil executive.
EV technologies are moving into semi-trucks and freight delivery too. This will greatly reduce the cost for delivery and you will pay less for the goods delivered by truck. Fueling an EV is about one-third the cost of diesel.
The new transportation package funds Oregon's future. It helps make our state (all of us) a leader in this new and growing technology. Annually, my fellow Oregonians spend about $6 billion on fuel. EVs help keep that money in our state and boost our local economies. Oregonians are pioneers, we are not laggards. This transportation package reflects that pioneering spirit.