The Oregon Fuel Mandate

Several organizations, including the American Trucking Association, the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers and the Consumer Energy Alliance, recently filed suit seeking judicial redress against the government of the State of Oregon for imposing (unlawfully) a new and destructive mandate on its own citizens who drive or purchase anything that travels by truck.

The mandate, which was created by California billionaires and pushed by disgraced Governor Kitzhaber’s girlfriend, will serve to enrich a few politically well-connected people while costing Oregonians at least an average of 19 cents more per gallon of gasoline. And not one cent of that will be used to improve the roads and bridges of Oregon.

This mandate – which led directly to the Governor’s resignation and the subsequent federal investigation of those who advocated for the mandate and how they were paid – will burden Oregon families, farms, businesses, and local institutions like schools and hospitals with higher prices for gasoline and diesel. It will hit the poor, the elderly, and those on fixed incomes the hardest.

And because the price of fuel ripples through the economy, it will make everything that is transported more expensive.

Worst of all, even if it works as designed – which is extremely unlikely — the effect it will have on global greenhouse gas emissions is so small that it is almost impossible to measure (for the record, it will be less than 2/1000 of 1 percent).

Governments are not particularly good at managing complex programs that (literally) involve millions of moving parts. Consumers should decide what kinds of cars they should buy and what kinds of fuels they should use – not the government.

There are better ways to increase mobility and improve the environment. The State should focus on those.




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