Local politics, the county, and the world, as viewed by Tammy Maygra

Tammy’s views are her own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bill Eagle, his pastor, Tammy’s neighbors, Wayne Mayo, Betsy Johnson, Joe Corsiglia, President Trump, Henry Heimuller, VP Pence, Pat Robertson, Debi Corsiglia’s dog, or Claudia Eagle’s Cats. This Tammy’s Take (with the exception of this disclaimer) is not paid for or written by, or even reviewed by anyone but Tammy and she refuses to be bullied by anyone.

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The U.S. Forest Service, and the Pacific Northwest Research Station compiled field measurements and quantified the amount of carbon accumulated or released in relation to a forest’s age, disturbance history, and species of trees. The scientists found that forested lands store carbon at a rate of 7 million metric tons per year. Although older forest stands and individual large trees store more carbon than younger trees, younger forests and small trees accumulate carbon at a faster rate per acre. Carbon and accumulate carbon at a rate of 7 mmt. per year (an increase of 0.3 percent per year). In effect, forests are accumulating the equivalent of 24 percent of the carbon emissions from fossil fuel combustion in Oregon and Washington.

So does Oregon need Cap and Trade that is the question. I believe we all need to help stop climate change. But where do we really start. The current cap and trade bill 200o was a horrible bill, a 100 page bill with 116 amendments. The bill had exclusions for big oil and gas companies.

Timber lands were targeted and then they were not, some timber land owners supported the bill while others did not. What were these logging companies in support going to ask for.  The bill also listed Oregon’s worst 100 companies; I would like to know how the drafters of the bill came up with the list. Oregon’s policy would require utility, transportation and industrial companies to, in essence, buy the right to pollute. They will purchase so-called emission allowances in a state-run auction or on a secondary market to cover each metric ton of pollution they emit. As the state reduces the supply of allowances, they would get more expensive, increasing fossil fuel prices and providing an incentive for industries and consumers to reduce their consumption -- and related emissions.

Could the state actually pay forest owners to not log so much. Hmmm….

The drafters felt that a 22 cent gas tax which would increase dramatically over the next decade would hit people in their wallets; they felt that the no pain no gain attitude would force people to quite driving. I estimated the tax to reach approximately +$5.00 a gallon in the next 20 years, plus with the cost of gas even at the current $3.20 a gallon the price of gas in the future would exceed $8.50  per gallon. This high cost would place a huge burden on rural areas, where people must drive further distances to work or even buy groceries. Yet the areas where most of the polluting happens are the Metro areas, where most people live.

This thinking is dividing the urban areas and the rural area people even further apart. Why not both sides come to the table, with ideas which both sides can agree on. You can never win an argument by strong arming the other side or by alienating them.

Another thing which bothers me about many supporters of this bill, is that they live in the congested areas, yet they do nothing to stamp out their carbon footprint. People in rural areas usually have many trees around their homes which help suck up the carbon. In cities there are very few trees which do this.

For example the Douglas fir is one of the best trees to take care of carbon and wow most of our forest land are Douglas Fir.  A tree can absorb as much as 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year and can sequester 1 ton of carbon dioxide by the time it reaches 40 years old.

The average amount of carbon one person emits each year world- wide is now 4.5 tons, but in the U.S., it is 17.5 tons, China 6,5 but since they have more population that amount far passes the US. if we could drop the amount world- wide by 1.5 tons our climate would be in balance.

For developing nations, they must skip the fossil fuel development, and begin with green energy’s. We must push the 3-ton carbon limit for each person in the world. Trillions of productive investments over the next thirty years means enormous profits, millions of sustainable jobs in sustainable communities. It means transforming agriculture, and forestry as well as industry. It means using existing proven technology which is only getting better by the day.

For example, the US coal generating plant “fleet” of 1,309 plants with a capacity of 343,757 megawatts produces 1.6 trillion kilowatt hours of electricity a year. This amounts to 5.32 tons of carbon per American per year all by itself. This represents 177% of the U.S sustainable carbon allowance.

Investment of $90 billion a year in photovoltaics for 20 years, at $1.50 per watt with storage, could replace coal generation. It would cover a block of land 137 miles on each side, or 217.5 square miles per state. This can be from roadways, rooftops, marginal land. Renewables will increasingly come not in big plants but in building materials, from roads and small vertical axis wind turbines.

Reality is that we'd build a mix of complementary wind, solar, and other renewables and link the systems with High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) power lines and storage. The United States and China, the world's two biggest economies and biggest emitters can lead the way by starting and committing to meet the sustainable 3 ton carbon dioxide per person target.

It will take 875 mature trees to consume the carbon produced by 1 American every year. This means logging the old trees and planting new ones since the young trees suck up more carbon. So, to all you people who hate logging, I would say that logging is saving the planet.

Of course people in the eastern states people will have to plant native trees which are found to be the best ones to suck up carbon. The Midwest which is mostly farming now needs to replant trees in once acre plots to help off -set their carbon. Or figure what grasslands can do. Even one tree planted will help in the accumulative scheme of things. And planting a few trees by everyone will make a difference. The deforestation of the rainforest is a much larger blow to the climate as trees in the rain forest in tropical regions actually suck up more carbon than in other areas.

A flaw in HB 2020-The sector for heavy industry – paper mills, food processors, cement and chemical manufacturers, etc. It’s not clear how heavily the carbon pricing would fall on them as the legislation envisions providing many of these companies with “up to 90 percent” of their allowances for free if they qualify as “Energy Intensive Trade Exposed.” In plain English, those are companies that use lots of energy but are vulnerable to competition from other states and countries.

Plus most of Oregon’s pollution comes from generating plants such as PGE at Port Westward, Clatskanie, Oregon, more info next week.

 I could go on and on with more facts and figures but the bottom line is we know what we need to do, we just need to do it, and put our earths health and our life above record profits.





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