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Letters, Oct. 25

Good for Oregon

When the Republicans decided that serving the state government, Oregonians and their oaths of office was less important than taking a trip to Idaho and serving corporations, they argued that the legislation proposed to counter global warming and reduce Oregon’s greenhouse gas emissions was a Portland plot designed to undermine the rest of the state. This was and remains nonsense.

Several of the senators who left to avoid voting were on the committee that wrote the bill; they had ample opportunity to offer their concerns, thoughts and amendments. Instead, they walked out.

The reality is that HB 2020 offered rural and coastal Oregon an abundance of investments that could have countered the economic disadvantages that these Oregonians experience. But Republicans rejected economic progress for rural and coastal Oregon, stuck to the business-as-usual commitments that bring them industry campaign contributions, sacrificed rural Oregon and the planet, and just walked out.

Kudos to Louise Shawkat, (Mail Tribune guest opinion, Sunday, Oct. 19) for pointing out exactly what benefits for rural and coastal Oregon HB 2020 offered that these Republicans sacrificed in order to serve their corporate donors. It’s time Republicans focused on what’s good for Oregonians rather than serving their campaign contributors.

Kathy Conway

Jacksonville

Too many people

The recent Columnist for a Day piece by Stewart McColumn offered perspective regarding Gov. Tom McCall’s great contribution to Oregon. One might add that Tom McCall knew population growth would adversely affect Oregon’s quality of life and said something like, “Visit Oregon but don’t stay.”

No top Oregon leader reiterated that since. Pity, because rapid growth in Oregon deteriorated the quality of life in the Portland/Salem corridor and other urban areas with sprawl often at only 3000 people per square mile, despite Oregon’s lauded land use planning program. This growth resulted in increased traffic, garbage, rents and housing prices.

But, of course, population growth and environmental losses are national issues, but no national candidate states that growth from 203 million people in 1970 to 330 million people today altered our environment to where our insect population greatly declined and our bird count dropped by 3 billion in those 50 years from habitat losses. And we have teeming, degrading airports, long lines entering national parks, and acute water shortages.

What national candidate will say the U.S. finally has enough people? Why are environmental groups now mute on U.S. population growth? Where did the concepts of “sustainability” and “carrying capacity” go?

Brent Thompson

Ashland

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