Wednesday, March 11, 2015

My Op-Ed in Today's Oregonian on OR's Clean Fuels Bill

I have an op-ed in today's Oregonian, "'Clean fuels' program is appropriate, though minimally effective."

It looks at the climate impact of Oregon's Clean Fuels Bill, which awaits the governor's signature. It is, not surprisingly, very small -- a reduction in the ultimate amount of global warming by 5°μF.

Yes, 5 millionths of a degree Fahrenheit.

I discuss how I think that number should be interpreted, and what would happen if everyone in the world made that same reduction -- reduced warming would be 0.01°F. We've had 1.4-1.5°F warming so far (depends on the source), so that reduction is 0.7% -- perhaps not too shabby.

Still, this bill is obviously nothing but a baby-step toward the kind of cutbacks towards a minimal carbon state (let alone a carbon-free state). As you would guess, most of the comments on newspaper articles I've seen are against it. Some people are against it because it costs too much (an estimated 19¢/gallon, which is $21 per metric ton of CO2), and some are against it because its impact is so small. Some people criticize it for both of these reasons, if that makes any sense to you.

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