Moda Health CEO Robert Gootee recently wrote in to the Portland Tribune to weigh in on Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program, which will bring economic, consumer choice, and public health benefits to Oregonians. Read his column:
Want to Improve Health in Oregon? Cut transportation pollution.
By Robert Gootee
We are all part of a health care system…as users and purchasers…as providers and payers. I believe that as part of this healthcare system we should do far more than treat symptoms and fight disease – and pay for the personal and economic costs of doing so. We should holistically recognize the key roles that lifestyle and environment play in human health. That’s why we should not passively just hope for the best, as Oregon considers important policies to reduce air pollution and respond to climate change.
Our company is a founding signatory to Oregon’s Business Climate Declaration, a call to action by more than 200 Oregon businesses to create a healthy climate and a more resilient economy. I am convinced our region can lead the way in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants that threaten the health of our communities.
We have a chance to make an impact when the 2015 Legislature considers the reauthorization of Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program. Legislators must seize this opportunity to support cleaner fuel choices for Oregonians. Transportation accounts for the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon, as well as a host of toxins that lead to such health problems as cancer, cardiovascular disease and asthma.
Continuing the Clean Fuels Program is a smart, simple way for Oregon lawmakers to start cleaning our air right now. Expanding clean fuels in Oregon promises a wide range of benefits. Expert analysis suggests the Clean Fuels Program could save Oregon businesses and consumers $1.6 billion in fuel costs, with more of the money we spend on fuel staying in Oregon instead of flowing out-of-state. Independent economists determined that the program could create more than 29,000 jobs and grow the Gross State Product by up to $2.1 billion.
We are building a coalition of businesses, organizations, and individuals who will stand with us to show the Legislature just how important the Clean Fuels Program is to Oregon. Renewing the Clean Fuels Program must be a top priority in the next legislative session. We invite you to join us to say that Clean Fuels Work.
Robert Gootee is the CEO of Moda Health. To learn more about how the Clean Fuels Program means a healthy Oregon or become an endorser, please visit www.CleanFuelsWorks.com