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Plus, our readers think the GOP must solve problems and not cause them, Helfrich spreads misinformation, and more

Every time we turn on the television these days, we are bombarded with measures to help bolster our general health, imperative in helping us avoid contracting the debilitating, potentially fatal COVID-19.

Yet, despite this ongoing crisis, the Trump administration is expected to soon roll back Obama-era automobile fuel efficiency standards. Fossil fuel industries now have an open invitation to pollute our air and water without consequence, further endangering people's health and exacerbating climate change.

The new rule, written by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation, would allow cars on American roads to emit nearly a billion tons more carbon dioxide over the lifetime of the vehicles than they would have under the Obama standards and hundreds of millions of tons more than will be emitted under standards being implemented in Europe and Asia.

Trump administration officials raced to complete the auto rule by this spring, even as the White House was consumed with responding to the COVID-19 crisis.

I would strongly recommend contacting your local and national representatives and strenuously urging them to help rescind this very harmful ruling.

Mary Anderson

Sandy

Global warming as big a crisis as virus

Last Easter, a garden built on Zenith Petroleum Terminal railroad tracks to fight fossil-fuel pollution sent a handful of people to court.

This Easter, as we are embroiled in a world pandemic, here is my vision: As companies step up to help with this crisis, couldn't they also step up to help with our biggest crisis, namely worldwide climate change?

Let's cut CO2 and methane pollution in the atmosphere. Let's stop destroying our land, air, water, forests and our health. We can do this! Let's have a more beautiful, healthier, safer world through changing now to clean, sustainable energy — wind, water, geothermal and solar powers — for our children and our grandchildren.

Now is the time for action for a healthier postpandemic world.

Mary Ann Reeser-Rudy

Northwest Portland

GOP must solve problems, not cause them

The Republican Party has chosen obstruction as its main method of governing.

At the federal level, hundreds of President Obama's appointments (including one to the Supreme Court) piled up without hearings. Now that the Democrats have control of the House of Representatives, hundreds of bills that were passed there again sit in the Republican Senate without hearings or a vote.

They've fought the Affordable Care Act for over a decade, even though it was a compromise based on a Republican program to begin with.

In Oregon, Republicans passed a measure requiring a supermajority for revenue ballot measures. An initiative that would have passed overwhelmingly if everyone voted could be blocked if the voters opposed to it simply stayed home.

Twice last year, Republicans walked out rather than negotiate (the second time despite a signed agreement and concessions they'd requested); this year they did it again.

If the well-being of the state is their main interest for running, they don't show it. Rather than working on electable candidates who work for the welfare of the people in the state (including their constituents) they'd rather use bully tactics to keep anyone else from doing it.

They've become an unproductive group with little to propose and no interest in working with other legislators to fix broken systems. But like the dog in the manger, they'll keep others from doing it.

Kathleen McAuliffe

Southeast Portland

Helfrich spreads misinformation

It really says something about Jeff Helfrich and his campaign for House District 52 that he has a Facebook page calling himself "State Rep." Jeff Helfrich. Not just once, but several times.

He is not a state representative. Our district is led by Rep. Anna Williams.

I hope people vote to reelect Rep. Anna Williams, and not allow someone who would use misinformation to win an election.

Rep. Williams has done a very good job and deserves our votes to continue to serve us well.

Susan Gates

Sandy

Reopen Affordable Care Act during pandemic

Our federal government must reopen Affordable Care Act enrollment immediately. An estimated 28 million working-age people went into the pandemic without health insurance, and now many have lost their jobs.

Without jobs they are eligible for Medicaid, but they can't apply until open enrollment begins in the fall. This must change.

Health insurers have asked for reopening the ACA. Yet the Trump administration has decided against it, leaving tens of millions to face the virus without protection.

Congress could override the president, but the Senate is on recess until April 20 and the House is recessing soon.

The virus is supposed to peak sometime around April 15. By the time Congress returns, untold thousands of uninsured citizens could be infected and could be infecting others because they're afraid to seek medical care.

This scenario endangers all of us. Congress must get back to work and reopen ACA enrollment, now.

Kaye Schmitt

North Portland


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