To the editor:
I am writing about HB2020 and the recent town hall held by our state representative and senator, Rep. Daniel Bonham and Sen. Cliff Bentz. I think it is important to clear up a couple of misconceptions held by many opponents of the bill.
The most important misconception is that HB2020 prevented Oregonians from voting on the proposal. I pointed out that this was false during the question and answer period and Sen. Bentz agreed that the bill does not prevent Oregonians from voting on it. The emergency status (and climate change is an emergency) does prevent using the referendum process, but the initiative process could still be used. That requires more signatures, but that is fair given the importance of this issue.
The second misconception relates to jobs. Sen. Bentz started his presentation by showing some slides that he said represented those issues that both sides agreed on, and one of them was that HB2020 created jobs, it is not a job killer. Sen. Bentz felt that the jobs created were spread over too long a time, but we should be clear that this was a job creation proposal. There are many more misconceptions that I do not have the space to address here.
Lastly I want to commend both Bonham and Bentz for saying that climate change is not a hoax, it is happening, it is caused by us, and something needs to be done. Supporters of HB2020 should be fair and not accuse Sen. Bentz of not wanting to do anything. I believe that what he advocates doing is inadequate to the challenge at hand, but if we spent more time debating what to do rather than whether it is happening, we would have come up with solutions a long time ago. I would also request that our representatives stay in Salem and do their jobs next time. The correct path to defeating a bill they do not like is to win more elections, not abusing parliamentary procedure to block a vote.