$3.3B per year according to an article in the Business Journal, much of it stemming from energy costs and health effects.
Oh jeez, how we’re gonna have to listen to the anti global warming folks!
Al, global-warming existence debates are off-topic for this thread.
Similarly, a thread titled “Flu Epidemic Expensive for Oregon” would be off-topic for those proposing alternative theories of germ transmission vectors.
There’s plenty of sites for debating the current scientific consensus. This site isn’t one of them.
On the flip side, the article FAILS to address the taxpayer/ratepayer/consumer costs of developing replacement energy alternatives, and the consumption costs of retrofitting/replacing just about everything. Gov K and those who support must think Rome was built in a day and the taxpayers have a bottomless pit of dollars to pay for his initiatives. Moreover, Gov K and his supporters are attempting to be collective dictators thereby turning Oregon into a socialist state. Next we will all be required to wear red clothing, and instead of a Town Car, the Governor will be chauffeured around in a Rolls Royce – the hybrid-electric version made in China.
Just when you’re raising a legitimate point and sounding rational, Terry, I get to the second part of your comment.
1. Despite the area’s reputation, the majority of Portland’s power is not generated from hydroelectric dams but from coal and natural gas – this is easily confirmed by going to the websites for PGE and Pacific Power.
Despite the loud clamor for wind power, wind power right now provides about 1% of our power mix. The most optimistic estimate says wind can provide no more than 20% of our power mix. Solar doesn’t add much. Both of those generation methods are not 24/7 and there is currently, nor is there in the near-term pipeline, an ability to store power generated by these means for use at other times of the day.
That said – what is being done in Oregon to develop high capacity power generation – nuclear will have to be an option since new hydro is simply no longer an option, and Oregon even used its clout to block PacifiCorp’s plan to add coal and natural gas plants in Wyoming?
2. What is being done to encourage TriMet to use high-capacity buses and hybrid-electric buses? It makes no sense to run certain bus lines every 5-10 minutes (i.e. 72, 94), especially using older, less fuel efficient and more polluting buses. Waiting 10-15 years for a MAX line is not an option today – a solution needs to be available NOW.
3. What is being done to encourage energy efficiency for ALL residents, not just those who can afford solar panels and other upgrades? Energy efficiency programs need to trickle down. Those who own older suburban homes needs to have just as much access as someone in the Pearl District. Renters also need to have access to these programs, and apartment complexes and other investor-owned properties need to be incented – or in some cases even forced – to make their properties energy efficient. Just as Multnomah County has forced chain restaurants to declare the calorie count of foods, I believe rental properties need to do the same with energy costs; and if owners refuse to take steps, the law should force the property owner to pay the bill out of their own pockets. (I see this every day working for the power company.)
4. What is being done to ensure that people who own more home than necessary pay for their footprint? I think that there should be an “excess property” tax – over 400 square feet per person should be taxed, similar to a luxury tax.
5. What is being done to reduce the count of motor vehicles? I think each household in an urban area should be permitted one motor vehicle and additional vehicles be taxed more. Rural areas and areas without decent transit service should get two cars at the lower rate – as well as people in an urban area that can prove that they are in an area of poor transit service, or a need for more vehicles (i.e. handicapped, personal vehicle also used for work).
6. What is being done for businesses who use excessive amounts of electricity, as well as the number of high tech devices such as computers that have dramatically increased electric consumption? Part of the reason for more energy usage now compared to 20 years ago is more computers, more TVs, more home theaters, more cell phone charges – devices that generally didn’t exist, or were relatively rare, 20 years ago.
I don’t think that our government is doing much to combat the issue. Yes, telling people to ‘drive less save more’ makes for a good sound byte, but when it doesn’t fix the problem nor does it address the issue of people who aren’t adequately served by transit, it’s an empty sound byte.
Urban form and land-use patterns are one of the better ways to address greenhouse gas emissions.
ws wrote: Urban form and land-use patterns are one of the better ways to address greenhouse gas emissions.
And what’s being done to incorporate lower-income households in the urban form and land-use patterns?
Unless you are in the top 30% of income earners in Portland you’re all but excluded from this – and thus the majority of Portlanders are forced by urban planning to live in remote areas.
There’s a reason people live in Vancouver, it’s not necessarily because they want to, it’s because that’s what they can afford.
Erik Halstead: And what’s being done to incorporate lower-income households in the urban form and land-use patterns?
ws: Speaking of the US as a whole, there are plenty of affordable housing units available that are within areas of efficient urban forms.
Yes, there are always the gentrifying sections of many cities (Pearl), but those are also present in many outlying fringe “communities” (Lake Oswego, etc.).
I think the biggest thing to keep affordable housing available is to not raise property taxes in newly developed sections of town. Some other ideas are to pay property taxes not on the assessed value of the unit, but rather the land it sits on (which is an interesting idea in the wake of the current housing bubble in which many homes were over-appraised than their actual market values).
In regards to Vancouver, people are looking for a certain typology of housing (suburban home) where their taxes are lower and they can get more house for the money. I don’t know how “affordable” this lifestyle is to the individual 60,000 Vancouverites who commute to Portland at a considerable transportation costs per commuter, especially after this summer and $4 dollar a gallon gas (not to mention the average family household needs to pay for more than one automobile to stay mobile in typical suburban areas).
Housing prices are always lower at the fringe of cities – however, as history has shown us – it is inevitable to keep these taxes low forever as further development and urbanization occurs and more money is needed to keep up with future service demands.
Housing affordability is an issue, but factoring in the cost of transportation is going to be a major issue in an energy dependent world.
The Brookings Institute did a good research into transportation and housing affordability:
From the linked article: Health-related costs as well as those related to inefficient energy consumption take up the largest share of the totals.
Fewer people die due to warm than due to cold and the claim of malaria increase due to warming is pure BS, so this claim is suspicious.
As to inefficient energy consumption, I can only guess that this is the excess energy bill that they postulate because we didn’t spend Billions to reduce energy consumption.
They probably ignored the reason we don’t spend Billions to be more energy efficient: it is cheaper to NOT spend the money than to save energy (engineering econ 101).
An excellent example is the solar electric panels (like the Gov headlined at the I5-I205 junction):
Spend X dollars on the panels to produce Y dollars worth of electricity per year.
The reality is that you could invest those X dollars and get about 5xY dollars per year which means you could use the income from your investment to pay the electric bill and have a lot leftover to apply to a better car. It is the same concept that a hybrid car is not economical unless you drive much more than the average person.
[Moderator: Off-topic remarks and meta-criticism of moderator policy removed. This is a moderated discussion forum, not a public square, and it’s not a place where you can veer the discussion to whatever you want whenever a particular theme comes up.]
ws: Housing affordability is an issue, but factoring in the cost of transportation is going to be a major issue in an energy dependent world.
JK: Energy cost will only become an issue if the deluded greens succeed in driving up the cost of energy.
ws: The Brookings Institute did a good research into transportation and housing affordability:
JK: You need to also look at reports from:
Harvard Institute of Economic Research
Federal Reserve Bank of NY Economic Policy Review / June 2003
Director of the Division of Affordable Housing Research & Technology at HUD.
Harvard Institute of Economic Research
American Dream Coalition
REGULATION FA L L 2002
Portland State University
University of Washington
Links are at: debunkingportland.com/Housing/HousingCost.htm
“Fewer people die due to warm than due to cold and the claim of malaria increase due to warming is pure BS, so this claim is suspicious.”
While I could believe that more people freeze to death than die from getting too hot, but if you limit your data set to people in their houses or going out normal lives, (and not, say, climbing Mt Hood,) I find that very suspicious…
“Heat waves kill more people in the United States than all of the other so-called natural disasters combined. More than 400 Americans die from heat-related illnesses in a typical year. Annual mortality from tornadoes, earthquakes, and floods together is under 200.”
Climate change isn’t an issue of people dieing because it’s “too hot” or “too cold”. It’s the drastic altering of climatic conditions. No wonder debating “global warming” (really a misnomer) is banned on this forum, the entire concept is completely misunderstood.
[Moderator: The rule cuts both ways… please do not entice more debate along these lines…]
I can’t imagine going to a climate meeting and saying “more people die from cold than warm, therefore climate change is good”. Is that seriously your argument, JK? That’s a good chuckle, really, thank you for that gem.
ws:I can’t imagine going to a climate meeting and saying “more people die from cold than warm, therefore climate change is good”. Is that seriously your argument, JK? That’s a good chuckle, really, thank you for that gem.
JK: Most of the alleged harms are simply made up and not supported by real science.
[Moderator: Personally-directed remark removed.]
(in Bob R mode)
Thanks Bob. When all I get is a personal insult, I know the other guy has, in essence, admitted that he/she has no case.
BTW, Al m should take a look at SustainableOregon.com.
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