Friday, December 09, 2005

Open letter to Oregon governor Ted Kulongoski

Dear Gov. Kulongoski and members of the Environmental Quality Commission,

Thank you for protecting the Oregon we love.

I applaud your efforts to bring Clean Cars to Oregon and make our state a leader in curbing global warming.

The auto industry is laying off thousand of workers now, and may be heading into a slump. Why? Because they are out of touch with consumers. Rather than build fuel-efficient cars using hybrid technology and other available methods, they have over-focused on speed, power and size, with the result that most of the available vehicle lineup gets poor gas mileage and is thus not very palatable to a large segment of the consuming marketplace. There are no waiting lists for any of the large American-made SUVs currently for sale; in fact, most American-made cars would not sell at all without huge incentive programs on the part of the auto companies. However, the hybrid vehicles in the market all have waiting lists. Why? Because the industry is out of touch with the market. When the industry sues Oregon or otherwise seeks to block the will of the people, it only alienates itself from the customer base even further. I expect that most American auto companies will either file for bankruptcy, be acquired by other auto companies or adopt a policy to make fuel-efficiency and alternative fuels their first priority within a fairly short timeframe, due to the current market forces.

I applaud you in your effort to try to force these companies to wake up to reality. They don't get it. You do. Thanks.

Garlynn G. Woodsong


The Clean Cars program will fight global warming by requiring automakers to use existing technology to reduce emissions from new cars and light trucks. By adopting the program, Oregon will continue its tradition of environmental leadership.

The Governor has pledged his support, and his Department of Environmental Quality has put forward a formal proposal to adopt the Clean Cars program. Oregon's Environmental Quality Commission will vote on the program on December 22.

But the auto industry is pulling out all the stops, including suing Oregon, to prevent the state from adopting the Clean Cars program. The auto industry lawsuit is likely to fail, but industry lobbyists have said that they "will use every arrow in our quiver to try to stop Oregon from adopting standards we disagree with."

While some in the auto industry opposes this effective program to clean up global warming pollution from cars and light trucks, Oregonians across the state support it. In just the last couple of months, more than 4,000 people have put their names on thank-you cards to the Governor, over 1,200 people sent in comments to the governor's task force on clean cars in support of the program, and over 3,000 people sent emails to auto dealerships and held rallies around Oregon urging dealerships to drop the lawsuit and instead support clean cars.

The December 22nd vote by the Environmental Quality Commission on rules proposed by Gov. Kulongoski's Department of Environmental Quality for the adoption of the Clean Cars program in Oregon is fast approaching.

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