Oregonian gets it wrong on Clean Fuels Program

Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program is a worthwhile investment – it’s good for our economy and jobs, reduces pollution for cleaner air and healthier communities, and provides cleaner, more affordable fuel options and choices for us all. It’s no wonder that Oregonians from all around the state, as well as hundreds of businesses and organizations, have signed on to support the program.

Recently, though, the Oregonian printed questions about the positive benefits of the program in an editorial. While their lack of support is perhaps unsurprising, given their announcement that they would not support any state action on climate policy, the editorial board is now alleging that the positive economic impact of the program is also not worthy of their support — chiefly because they dispute the notion that cleaner, more affordable fuels could save Oregonians dollars at the pump.

Angus Duncan, president of Bonneville Energy Foundation, weighed in to respond:

“The Oregonian does us a disservice by playing its own numbers game in opposing Oregon’s vehicle Clean Fuels standard. The newspaper’s Dec. 14 editorial challenged Gov. John Kitzhaber’s assertion that moving to cleaner fuels could save Oregon drivers “up to $1.6 billion” in fuel costs. To be clear, that’s exactly what the independent study commissioned by DEQ says transitioning to electric vehicles could do.

And this study isn’t alone in forecasting savings for Oregonians moving to electric vehicles, the most promising low-carbon auto technology available under the clean fuels program. The Oregon Department of Transportation projects overall average household savings from (1) lower operating costs per mile (electricity is cheaper than gasoline), and (2) the vehicles themselves becoming competitively priced as costs of producing them come down.

In other places where a clean fuels program is operating, there’s no evidence that it has driven the near-term price of gasoline up. Instead, it is giving consumers in those states more fuel choices, something that will be especially welcome when today’s low oil prices spike up again.

Oregonians can also save some of the $5 billion that leaves the state every year to pay for imported oil. That’s money going out the door instead of staying in Oregon to support job growth here…”

Read the full column via the Oregonian.


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