Tapken: Public money flows to wrong companies for wrong reasons
If the politicians really want to do something about the so called climate change, then why do they not put forth grants/subsidies (and not fund themselves),to those that need it? Corporations like Nike, Intel, Google, SK Holdings, Avago, Berkshire, Iberdola, Portland General Electric, Caithness Energy, Koch Industries, Amazon and others are being given millions of dollars in subsidies. (Oregon in 20 years handed out more than $6.6 billion in corporate subsidies that do not have to be paid back)
Giving subsidies to large corporations in the form of a lesser tax base because they can provide employment to 1,000 people for a limited time is an unfair economical approach. If the state wants this, then compromise and take away from those corporations that satiate a political need for a lack of transparency to gain cover for special interests.
I also think spreading these subsidies to all companies who stand to be affected by House Bill 2020 balances out the working industry, allows companies to remain and, honestly, balances out a political voting moment.
Ten percent of the subsidies given out under the $6 billion only figure would give $600 million to other industries, which would then address the emissions issue of those industries, as well as maintain stability in not only the workplace but economically, by not forcing hundreds of thousands out of work, which in turn puts a strain on the unemployment system and the spending economies. This also helps alleviate a potential loss of homes, and maintaining employment also helps keep homelessness from drastically increasing.
Assuming that the 4.1 million registered vehicles in Oregon would have a required emissions upgrade (which we know is not the case) and based upon the 20 years of 10% of $6 billion-plus subsidy given, that is $1,500 or more towards every registered vehicle in the state of Oregon for 20 years. Considering not every vehicle, farm equipment, etc., will need an emissions upgrade, then this goes to show that there is a lot more money from a 10% subsidy that can go towards providing funds for a complete emissions upgrade for all necessary vehicles and other manufacturing companies.
Also, this subsidy amount is always expected to increase, which gives way for additional financial assessment for the future. If you want the emissions to be drastically reduced by 2050, then as of 2019, this gives 31 years of 10% of subsidies to be implemented back towards all emissions vehicles, manufactures, agricultural greenhouses, etc.
To me, this is a very simple resolution, if you take greed of corporations and the political buying power out of the equation.
There is no way that the current cap-and-trade resolution will provide enough gainful employment when industries that provide hundreds of jobs are being forced to close. There is no way, without much loss, that the current HB 2020 will be able to maintain the current rate of sustainable forestry management, thus allowing additional wildfires, which means the emissions ratio as previously mentioned then becomes largely counterproductive and ever-increasing for every year that sustainability decreases.
Oregon allowed all the manufacturers to come in, gave licenses to all the business to perform, gave subsidies to some of the biggest emissions related corporations — so make Oregon accountable by simply spreading out subsidies. A fair and equitable Oregon with a higher sustainability and economical base should be the utmost priority.
Since Oregon created this, Oregon should be fair and take some accountability and fix this.
Cara Tapken lives in Salem.
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