Clean Fuels Program passes Senate, despite Oregonian's Cylvia Hayes obsession

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Yesterday, the State Senate voted 17-13 to reauthorize the Clean Fuels Program. It was a party line vote, with Senator Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose) voting wth the Republicans. SB 324 now moves to the House.

The vote came after a months-long editorial campaign by the Oregonian newspaper, that ultimately led to their call for Governor John Kitzhaber to resign. Republicans took up the Oregonian's arguments, claiming that the legislation to extend the Clean Fuels Program was tainted because it had been supported by the soon-to-be-former first lady.

Even the hard news side of the Oregonian got into the act, headlining the story of yesterday's vote, "Oregon Senate approves clean-fuels extension despite tie to Cylvia Hayes" and talking about the Hayes scandal in 10 of the 16 paragraphs about the vote.

That is, of course, absurd. After all, it's legislation. Every word is on paper. Whether the support by Hayes was the product of some unethical conduct or not, the fact is that legislation can be evaluated by reading it. Whether Cylvia Hayes supported it or not, it is legislation on a page -- and the right thing to do is to read the bill and vote on its merits. (Unless the GOP opposition is an admission that they didn't bother reading the bill.)

It's also worth noting that the 17-13 vote is the outcome of the hard-fought campaigns for Senators Sara Gelser and Chuck Riley. If they hadn't won their races, we'd have had another 15-15 vote. Elections matter. We're making progress on climate change.

Think globally, act locally.

connect with blueoregon