Letters to the Editor: March 26, 2021
Use tariffs to improve air quality
Joe Goffman, President Joe Biden's assistant administrator of the Environmental Protection Administration's Office of Air and Radiation, is attempting to sneak around Congress a further tightening of carbon monoxide standards by tightening ozone standards.
Congress has been deliberately passing legislation since 1992 strengthening clean air rules. Between 1980 and 2019, carbon dioxide emissions dropped 75%, with an 85% improvement in air quality, according to the EPA's own data.
Sneaking around Congress isn't the way to do this.
Try this instead:
• Impose a tariff on all goods produced in countries not meeting American EPA standards. This will reduce CO2 plus sulfur dioxide, arsenic, mercury, and other poisoning particulates emitted from dirty Pacific Rim coal.
• Domestic companies struggle to compete with production in India, China, Vietnam, and others largely because they abuse the environment. If we bring production back to America, the EPA can monitor it.
The whole world wins.
Wayne Mayo, Scappoose
Legislation could save Oregon's dairy farms
Oregon dairy farms are in crisis. In 1992, Oregon had 1,900 dairy farms. Today, only 228 remain.
Nationally the number of dairy farms has plummeted while the amount of milk produced has skyrocketed. Why? Because of massive dairy factories.
When most Oregonians think of dairy farms, they likely imagine a few hundred cows ranging on pasture eating grass. Today, Oregon's largest dairy Threemile Canyon Farms, which supplies two-thirds of the milk Tillamook uses to make cheese, houses 70,000 cows.
Is this the food system Oregonians want? One with only a few farms, each raising tens of thousands of animals in near total confinement? I don't think so. Since the 1970s, farmers have been told to "get big or get out." This push led to the decline of small family farms and to moving animals indoors into cramped, inhumane confinement with no access to pasture.
The Oregon Legislature should pass House 2924 and Senate Bill 583, a bill that would halt the construction or expansion of mega-dairies (farms with more than 2,500 cows).
We have a unique opportunity to shift the trajectory of our farming system to one that uplifts our values and serves our farmers. Let's hope we don't let this chance pass us by.
Erin Eberle, Portland
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