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GUEST OPINION: Before It's Too Late

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GUEST OPINION

Before It's Too Late

Worthy Brewing and Indie Hops stands behind Oregon Business for Climate, a group of businesses seeking legislation to curb runaway greenhouse gas pollution.

We've been the target of attacks because we supported Oregon's effort to pass a Cap and Trade carbon emissions reduction bill (HB 2020). Farmers, truckers, loggers and others have accused us of trying to put them out of business. Nothing could be further from the truth.

We liked the idea of establishing a market-based trading system for carbon — "pricing in" the mounting environmental and social costs of burning fossil fuels, while at the same time easing the burden on Oregonians impacted financially.

The new program would generate about $500 million a year, largely collected from about 100 major industrial sources of carbon pollution. It exempts the forestry and agriculture sectors, with revenues distributed to farmers, ranchers and loggers to upgrade equipment, switch to renewables, install irrigation drip lines, build sea walls, and cover irrigation canals to mitigate water loss, among other things. It would also provide technology assistance to our biggest polluters to help them clean up their act.

Everyone was at the table in writing this bill. Affected industries were heard, and changes were made to ameliorate their concerns. In the end, the bill had the support of more than 220 farmers, ranchers, vintners, and yes, loggers.

So, what does this mean for Worthy Brewing and Indie Hops, both of which I own?

First, we're already doing our fair share to respond to climate change. Our pub buys meat and vegetables from local farmers and ranchers. We recycle, reuse and compost. We have solar installations that save us thousands of dollars a year in electric bills and spare the air 100,000 pounds of CO2 annually.

Indie Hops has, since 2009, made a sizeable investment in the breeding, cultivation, milling and storage of Oregon-grown hops. We think Oregon has the best hop farmers in the world, and we've contributed more than $2.5 million to OSU's crops and soils research program because we think Oregon has the best terroir for growing high yield, disease resistant, drought-tolerant hops for the craft beer market.

We have skin in the game, and we would never support a bill that harms farmers or undermines our substantial hops investment, which we expect to grow.

Our concerns about global warming prompted us to sponsor the work of OSU professor Bill Ripple, who authored "Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice," which has been endorsed by more than 21,000 scientists worldwide. Ripple makes the case that unless we begin to curb carbon pollution quickly, our tiny blue dot will approach uninhabitability.

We support Oregon Business for Climate because, well, why wouldn't we want a green, sustainable economy? If you concur, please let Governor Kate Brown know you support her determination to move forward on Cap and Trade. And please, do it now, because we're running out of later.

—Roger Worthington

In Response to, "Knopp and Racism" on 7/4

Joanne,

With all due respect, Oregon currently does offer the privilege to drive to all that met the age, ability and legal residency criteria, regardless of race.

Though HB 2015 may provide a solution to provide driving privileges to those that cannot prove their legal status, it will further incentivize people to continue to make the long and dangerous trip to cross into the USA illegally. On the other hand, the legal immigration process into the United States permits a million proud people per year to enter the world's most generous country and provides the benefits and protection that immigrants deserve.

Without respect for the law, the country that we all cherish will cease to exist.

— David White

Sharing the Road

Bicyclist—I am so tired of sharing the road with you. You ride the wrong way on the wrong side of the street. You don't signal your intentions, you don't look, you just go. You pretend you are a pedestrian by riding on sidewalks. Your favorite pedestrian trick is instead of stopping at a stop sign, you swoop to the right into the crosswalk and expect the driver to see your trick and stop quickly. You saved your best for yesterday afternoon.

I was stopped at the bottom of a hill at a 4-way stop. I was the only vehicle at the intersection. I was stopped and signaling. Now here you come, full tilt down the hill. Not only did you ignore my signal, you busted through the stop at high speed. Fortunately for me, as I turned my head to see where I was going, I picked you up in my peripheral vision and quickly slammed on my brake pedal. Why fortunate for me? Because after I killed your arrogant and careless butt I would have spent time in both criminal and civil court defending myself against your actions. Yes, you have the absolute right to demand that drivers share the road with you, but drivers have the right to demand that you follow the rules. It is in your best interests because if you have an argument with a car, guess who loses. I am tired of you.

— Dan Cooper

Letter of the Week:

Dan—Come on in for your gift card to Palate! While I think it's OK for young people and new riders to ride on the (in Bend, very intermittent) sidewalks (outside downtown, where it's not allowed) I do have to agree with the rest. Cyclists, you have exactly three hand signals to learn—I think you got this. And yes, stop signs do apply to cyclists. Let's offer a level playing field!

—Nicole Vulcan

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