The rising demand for and declining supply of oil will likely have tremendous impacts on land use and transportation planning efforts in the Portland region for decades to come.
This will be an issue of ongoing concern to Metro as we work with the public, businesses and other governments to shape regional transportation planning and growth management policies in the years ahead. Increasing volatility in oil prices could have serious effects on every industry, from health care to agriculture to high technology, and it may impact citizens¹ commuting options, home heating sources, and other uses of oil as well. How we as a region respond through our transportation and land use policies to the growing uncertainty in the supply and cost of oil will have a direct impact on our economy and quality of life for many years to come.
At my request, Metro policy associate Daniel Lerch developed a white paper outlining some of the policy challenges and opportunities the region faces if we wish to maintain our quality of life in the face of a more unstable and more expensive supply of oil. The white paper discusses how Metro may respond to future uncertainty in the supply and price of oil. It identifies oil supply uncertainty as a timely risk management issue and establishes a basis for the Metro Council to consider possible policy and program responses.
It is clear that we will need to be prepare for uncertainty in the supply of oil in our transportation and land use planning decisions.